SLS Intertank loaded for shipment, structural testing
by Staff Writers
New Orleans LA (SPX) Feb 26, 2018
A structural test version of the intertank for NASA's new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, is loaded onto the barge Pegasus Feb. 22, at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
The intertank is the second piece of structural hardware for the rocket's massive core stage scheduled for delivery to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for testing.
Engineers at Marshall will push, pull and bend the intertank with millions of pounds of force to ensure the hardware can withstand the forces of launch and ascent.
The flight version of the intertank will connect the core stage's two colossal fuel tanks, serve as the upper-connection point for the two solid rocket boosters and house the avionics and electronics that will serve as the "brains" of the rocket.
Pegasus, originally used during the Space Shuttle Program, has been redesigned and extended to accommodate the SLS rocket's massive, 212-foot-long core stage - the backbone of the rocket.
The 310-foot-long barge will ferry the flight core stage from Michoud to other NASA centers for tests and launch.
RS-25 Engine Throttles Up for Deep Space Exploration
Stennis Space Center, MS (SPX) Feb 22, 2018
With an eye toward future deep space missions, Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA have powered up the RS-25 main engine for the agency's powerful heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) to its highest thrust levels yet. During the 260-second hot fire test, the RS-25 engine throttled up to 113 percent of its original design thrust level. The first four flights of SLS will use engines that max out at 109 percent of rated thrust (these same engines operated at 104.5 percent rated thrust when flown on the Space ... read more
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