ATK also has updated the rocketry display at the Planetarium, showcasing how Utahns are helping humanity explore the cosmos.
"It's thrilling to me that we will soon launch the rocket that will take humans to deep space," said NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli in a statement. "I, for one, will be ready and willing to fly on it."
On Wednesday at 7 p.m., Antonelli, SLS booster manager Alex Priskos, ATK Vice President Charlie Precourt and ATK Vice President of Next Generation Solid Rocket Booster First Stage Fred Brasfield will discuss the future of space exploration. Tickets are $2 for the general public and free to members.
On Thursday morning, an official opening event will take place at 11 a.m. and then Antonelli will work with some of the nearly 1,000 students who are scheduled to see the exhibit that day. He also will sign autographs.
ATK is creating the twin first-stage boosters for the heavy-lift rocket and its avionics. The company also makes the launch abort motor for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's launch abort system, a critical safety feature for the rocket. An inert launch abort motor will fly on Orion's first mission later this year.
"NASA, ATK and other industry partners have achievable milestones this year for NASA's heavy-lift rocket," said Priskos. "With Orion's first mission in September, ATK's booster test this year, and the first flight of SLS scheduled for 2017, Mars is within the reach of human spaceflight."