Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jul 22, 2014
A 170-foot powerhouse -- the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) -- is near completion and will soon be ready to build the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). SLS will be the most powerful rocket in history for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.
This photo taken with a special camera lens shows the VAC, the world's largest spacecraft welding tool -- part of a family of tools at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
These tools are specifically designed to build the core stage, which will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle's RS-25 engines.
The core stage is comprised of five major structures: the forward skirt, the liquid oxygen tank, the intertank, the liquid hydrogen tank and the engine section.
The core stage recently passed its critical design review -- a major milestone for the program which proves the first new design for America's next great rocket is mature enough for production. Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, including avionics.
The first flight test of the SLS will feature a configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system.
As the SLS evolves, it will provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system to places like Mars.
NASA Space Launch System
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|