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SLS - Space Launch System

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Placed by: DRRA - KJvTil on 12-10-17 11:56 | E-mail: info(at)
Aug 2017

The largest piece of hardware for NASA's Space Launch System built at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is ready for thermal insulation. Manufacturing is complete on the launch vehicle stage adapter, and it has been moved to NASA’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing for the application of the spray-on foam insulation that will surround it during its ride to space.

Not only is the LVSA the largest segment of the rocket built at Marshall, measuring 27.6 feet in diameter and 30 feet tall, it is also the largest piece of flight hardware to have insulation applied at Marshall by hand.

The LVSA connects two major sections of the upper part of SLS -- the core stage and the interim cryogenic propulsion stage -- for the first flight of the rocket and NASA's Orion spacecraft.

Insulation is applied to segments of rocket hardware to protect them from aerodynamic heating. When the insulation is applied, the coating will appear yellow, but as the insulation is exposed to the sun, it will turn orange. Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville, is the prime contractor for the adapter.

NASA Completes Welding of LOx tank | Reaction of: DRRA-KJvTil on 12-10-17 12:02 | E-mail: info(at)
Sept. 1, 2017
NASA Completes Welding of Liquid Oxygen Tank for First SLS Flight

NASA is another step closer to completing all main structures for the agency’s first launch of the Space Launch System deep space rocket. The liquid oxygen flight tank was recently built in the Vertical Assembly Center robotic welder at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

After the liquid oxygen tank was inspected, it was moved to another area for plug welding to fill the holes left by the
friction stir welding process.

Five major parts -- the engine section, liquid hydrogen tank, intertank, liquid oxygen tank and forward skirt –will be connected together to form the 212-foot-tall core stage, the backbone of the SLS rocket.

Boeing, the prime contractor for the core stage, is welding the liquid hydrogen tank structure--the final major core stage structure to be built for the first integrated flight of SLS and Orion.

The liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks will hold 733,000 gallons of propellant to power the stage's four RS-25 engines that together produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust.

2016 Welding Complete on main tank | Reaction of: DRRA-KJvTil on 12-10-17 12:35 | E-mail: info(at)
Sept. 30, 2016
NASA Completes Welding on Massive Fuel Tank for First Flight of SLS Rocket

Welding is complete on the largest piece of the core stage that will provide the fuel for the first flight of NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, with the Orion spacecraft in 2018.
The core stage liquid hydrogen tank has completed welding on the Vertical Assembly Center at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Standing more than 130 feet tall, the liquid hydrogen tank is the largest cryogenic fuel tank for a rocket in the world.

The liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank are part of the core stage -- the "backbone" of the SLS rocket that will stand at more than 200 feet tall. Together, the tanks will hold 733,000 gallons of propellant and feed the vehicle's four RS-25 engines to produce a total of 2 million pounds of thrust.

This is the second major piece of core stage flight hardware to finish full welding on the Vertical Assembly Center. The core stage flight engine section completed welding in April. More than 1.7 miles of welds have been completed for core stage hardware at Michoud.

Traveling to deep space requires a large rocket that can carry huge payloads, and SLS will have the payload capacity needed to carry crew and cargo for future exploration missions, including NASA's Journey to Mars.

2016 Final plug welds main tank | Reaction of: DRRA-KJvTil on 12-10-17 12:41 | E-mail: info(at)
Aug. 18, 2016
Plugging Away Inside Massive SLS Fuel Tank: Welders Complete Final Plug Fusion Welds on SLS Liquid Hydrogen Tank

Welders inside a large liquid hydrogen tank for NASA's Space Launch System at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are plugging holes left after the tank was assembled.

Using frictional heating and forging pressure, friction stir welding produces high-strength bonds virtually free of defects. The process transforms metals from a solid state into a "plastic-like" state and uses a rotating pin tool to soften, stir and forge a bond between two metal sections to form a uniform welded joint. At the beginning and end of each weld, holes remain where the rotating pin tool enters and exits the metal.

Six 22-foot-tall barrels and two domed caps were joined together to create the qualification test article, which measures an astounding 27.5 feet in diameter and over 130 feet long. Qualification test articles, like the one shown here, closely replicate flight hardware and are built using identical processing procedures.

The liquid hydrogen tank, a liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines and other elements form SLS's core stage, which also serves as the rocket's structural backbone. SLS -- the most powerful rocket in the world -- along with NASA's Orion spacecraft will send astronauts deeper into space than ever before, including on the agency's journey to Mars.

NASA Completes Review of First SLS | Reaction of: Modelraketten.NL on 09-11-17 16:10 | E-mail: info(at)
NASA Completes Review of First SLS, Orion Deep Space Exploration Mission
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 09, 2017

NASA is providing news on the first integrated launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft after completing a comprehensive review of the launch schedule.

This uncrewed mission, known as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) is a critical flight test for the agency's human deep space exploration goals. EM-1 lays the foundation for the first crewed flight of SLS and Orion, as well as a regular cadence of missions thereafter near the Moon and beyond.

The review follows an earlier assessment where NASA evaluated the cost, risk and technical factors of adding crew to the mission, but ultimately affirmed the original plan to fly EM-1 uncrewed. NASA initiated this review as a result of the crew study and challenges related to building the core stage of the world's most powerful rocket for the first time, issues with manufacturing and supplying Orion's first European service module, and tornado damage at the agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

While the review of the possible manufacturing and production schedule risks indicate a launch date of June 2020, the agency is managing to December 2019, said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. Since several of the key risks identified have not been actually realized, we are able to put in place mitigation strategies for those risks to protect the December 2019 date.

The majority of work on NASA's new deep space exploration systems is on track. The agency is using lessons learned from first time builds to drive efficiencies into overall production and operations planning. To address schedule risks identified in the review, NASA established new production performance milestones for the SLS core stage to increase confidence for future hardware builds. NASA and its contractors are supporting ESA's (European Space Agency) efforts to optimize build plans for schedule flexibility if sub-contractor deliveries for the service module are late.

NASA's ability to meet its agency baseline commitments to EM-1 cost, which includes SLS and ground systems, currently remains within original targets. The costs for EM-1 up to a possible June 2020 launch date remain within the 15 percent limit for SLS and are slightly above for ground systems. NASA's cost commitment for Orion is through Exploration Mission-2. With NASA's multi-mission approach to deep space exploration, the agency has hardware in production for the first and second missions, and is gearing up for the third flight. When teams complete hardware for one flight, they're moving on to the next.

As part of the review, NASA now plans to accelerate a test of Orion's launch abort system ahead of EM-1, and is targeting April 2019. Known as Ascent-Abort 2, the test will validate the launch abort system's ability to get crew to safety if needed during ascent. Moving up the test date ahead of EM-1 will reduce risk for the first flight with crew, which remains on track for 2023.

Technology Advancements
On both the rocket and spacecraft, NASA is using advanced manufacturing techniques that have helped to position the nation and U.S. companies as world leaders in this area. For example, NASA is using additive manufacturing (3-D printing) on more than 100 parts of Orion. While building the two largest core stage structures of the rocket, NASA welded the thickest structures ever joined using self-reacting friction stir welding.

SLS has completed welding on all the major structures for the mission and is on track to assemble them to form the largest rocket stage ever built and complete the EM-1 green run, an engine test that will fire up the core stage with all four RS-25 engines at the same time.

NASA is reusing avionics boxes from the Orion EM-1 crew module for the next flight. Avionics and electrical systems provide the nervous system of launch vehicles and spacecraft, linking diverse systems into a functioning whole.

For ground systems, infrastructure at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is intended to support the exploration systems including launch, flight and recovery operations. The center will be able to accommodate the evolving needs of SLS, Orion, and the rockets and spacecraft of commercial partners for more flexible, affordable, and responsive national launch capabilities.

EM-1 will demonstrate safe operations of the integrated SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft, and the agency currently is studying a deep space gateway concept with U.S. industry and space station partners for potential future missions near the Moon.

Hardware progress continues every day for the early flights of SLS and Orion. EM-1 will mark a significant achievement for NASA, and our nation's future of human deep space exploration, said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington. Our investments in SLS and Orion will take us to the Moon and beyond, advancing American leadership in space.

Bron: SpaceDaily, Staff Writers
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