The Shuttle boosters had 4 segments and Artemis has 5. What are the differences in total mass, thrust and burn time? Is the thrust profile (thrust over time) the same?


1 Answer 1


(This answer assumes the the SLS SRBs are the same as the Five-Segment Boosters (FSBs) studied for a shuttle upgrade...I believe they are, but have not seen this explicitly stated).

The thrust time curves are compared here

enter image description here

  • RSRM = Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor (shuttle SRB)
  • FSB1 = Five Segment Booster (not sure about the 1)

Reference (a paper by my old boss):

Achieving Space Shuttle Abort-to-Orbit Using the Five-Segment Booster

Weight difference:

Other differences:

enter image description here

Ignore the part about parachutes. No chutes on SLS boosters.


Achieving Space Shuttle ATO Using the Five-Segment Booster (FSB)


Thanks to Jörg W Mittag who suggested in a comment that the SLS SRBs might have been derived from the Ares 1 design. I found a plot for that, which looks superficially similar to the one above except for maybe a bigger thrust difference on the "second hump". Also it's a clearer image.

enter image description here

Source Ares First Stage Element Status

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Great comparison, but that NASA fact sheet for the SLS SRB gives 3.6 million pounds and 126 sec. burntime. Not that much of a difference though ! :) $\endgroup$
    – Cornelis
    Aug 30, 2022 at 10:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Cornelis thanks! I'll try and find a newer thrust-time curve. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2022 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ I heard that the SLS FSBs are actually (based on) the Ares I first stage ones. Could that account for the thrust profile difference? $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2022 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag thanks! A curve for Ares might be available. $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2022 at 19:22

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