Hexcel advanced composites selected for Artemis 9 Booster production

New lightweight design for boosters enables increased performance for future missions to the Moon and Mars.

Hexcel advanced composites selected for Artemis 9 Booster production

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Hexcel Corporation announced that its advanced composite materials have been selected by Northrop Grumman to supply the production of the Booster Obsolescence and Life Extension (BOLE) boosters for Artemis 9.

Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems is working to address space launch system obsolescence issues in booster design and manufacturing. Upgraded boosters using lightweight Hexcel carbon fiber and prepreg will also provide increased performance that will benefit future lunar campaigns, science missions, and the eventual Mars campaign.

Beginning with the Artemis 9 mission, the new BOLE boosters will replace the steel cases previously used for the space shuttle systems with a weight-saving composite case and upgraded structures, electronic thrust vector control systems and propellant materials to address obsolescence.

BOLE case in winding
The first BOLE case in winding at the Northrop Grumman Promontory, Utah Facility. Hexcel advanced composites will be used to manufacture the first composite case for BOLE boosters to be used on the Space Launch System starting with the Artemis 9 mission, planned for 2031. Photo used with the permission of Northrop Grumman.