The SLS solid rockets have a "forward skirt segment" above the five true rocket propellent segments. What is the purpose of this segment? I believe that it contains the avionics for the rocket, however surely there would be enough room in the nose cone segment for avionics, why do avionics require a whole fairly large segment?


1 Answer 1


The forward skirt contains the structure that attaches the SRB to the SLS core stage, called the "forward attach fitting". The majority of the SRB thrust loads are transmitted through this fitting.

When connected, the Core’s primary forward attach points rest on top of the boosters’ forward attach interfaces. The forward Core Stage attach fittings are at the ends of the main thrust beam running through the intertank. Once fully mated, the weight of the Core Stage is supported by the boosters.

At liftoff, the boosters will pick up the Core Stage through the intertank thrust beam and hoist the whole flight vehicle into the sky. After the boosters burn out, separation bolts will disconnect them from the Core Stage — with booster separation motors firing to push them safely away.

Source: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/06/core-mate-prelaunch-checks-artemis-1/

This schematic shows the thrust beam in the core stage and how it attaches to the forward skirts of the boosters (red arrow).

enter image description here

Source: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Elements-of-the-SLS-Block-1-crew-vehicle_fig1_338752729 (annotation mine)

Also see https://space.stackexchange.com/a/52101/6944

  • $\begingroup$ do similar images exist for Block 1B crew, 1B cargo, 2 crew, 2 cargo? I'd especially like to see how lander is being accommodated. $\endgroup$
    – BradV
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 16:20

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