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Friday, September 12, 2014

NASA's Ready to Build New Rocket


Article: NASA Unveils World's Largest Spacecraft Welding Tool for Space Launch System - NASA


Today, at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the largest spacecraft welding tool in the world opened. The Vertical Assembly Center, a 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide assembly, completes a welding apparatus that will be used to build the core stage of America's next rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

SLS will have the capability for deep space missions, including going to an asteroid and eventually Mars. The core stage will be more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet. It will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the rocket's four RS-25 engines.

"This rocket is a game changer in terms of deep space exploration and will launch NASA astronauts to investigate asteroids and explore the surface of Mars while opening new possibilities for science missions, as well,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Michoud Friday.

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