Monday, January 14, 2019

Shutdown impacting SLS

The government shutdown is impacting NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Qualification testing on the SLS’s intertank and hydrogen tank has stopped at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “The intertank was undergoing testing when the government shut down, so that’s been interrupted,” according to John Shannon, the SLS program manager at Boeing. It also means testing can’t even begin on the hydrogen tank, which arrived at Marshall last week. The testing to ensure rocket components can withstand harsh launch conditions has already been completed for the engine. The furlough also means NASA and Boeing employees have halted modifications to the stand at Stennis Space Center, Miss., that will hold the rocket during a test-fire of all four engines. “That test stand is owned by NASA,” said Shannon, who worked for space agency for 25 years before joining Boeing in 2015. “[So] that work has come to a halt during the shutdown.” Boeing thinks it will be able to catch up and deliver the first completed rocket to NASA as planned in the late fall. (Source: Polico Space, 01/14/19)