Nasa has welcomed the arrival of twin rocket motors for its Space Launch System (SLS) at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, US.

Each of the two motor segments comprising of five segments reached the site’s Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility (RPSF).

The segments will power Nasa’s first Artemis flight test mission around the Moon. They were delivered from Northrop Grumman’s production plant in Promontory, Utah.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “The arrival of the booster segments at Kennedy is just the beginning of the SLS rocket’s journey to the pad and onward to send the Orion spacecraft to the Moon.

“Artemis I will pave the way toward landing the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024 and expanding human exploration to Mars.”

Each 180t booster segment is equipped with key flight instrumentation and propellant.

Nasa Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama, SLS Boosters office manager Bruce Tiller said: “The fully assembled boosters for Nasa’s Space Launch System rocket are the largest, most powerful solid propellant boosters ever built for flight.

“These enormous rocket motors help provide the necessary launch power for the SLS deep-space rocket.”

Following the arrival, Nasa’s Exploration Ground Systems team will now prepare them for assembly and integration activities.

The space agency is planning to return astronauts to the Moon’s surface in four years under this Artemis programme.

Last month, US firm Aerojet Rocketdyne secured a contract from Nasa to produce additional SLS RS-25 rocket engines for future Artemis missions.