Tuesday, June 18, 2013

NASA to show off weld center

NEW ORLEANS -- A new machine for manufacturing the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System will be shown to the media Friday at Michoud Assembly Facility. NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier and other agency officials will be on hand for the ribbon-cutting for the vertical weld center, where friction-stir weld tooling will be used to assemble the core stage. Officials from Boeing of Huntsville, Ala., prime contractor for the SLS core stage and its avionics, will take part in the ribbon-cutting. The 200 foot-tall core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to feed the rocket's RS-25 engines. The vertical weld center will stand about three stories tall and weigh 165 tons. The event also will include a tour of the SLS area where work is done on the Orion crew capsule. (Source: NASA, 06/17/13) Engines for the SLS are tested at NASA's Stennis Space Center, some 35 miles from Michoud in Mississippi.