The barrel for the engine section of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, is taken off the Vertical Weld Center at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The barrel is flight hardware to be used on the first uncrewed test flight of the 70-metric-ton configuration of the rocket. The engine section, made up of the barrel and a ring — also welded at Michoud — will hold four RS-25 engines that will power the core stage of the SLS. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.5 feet, will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.
The Vertical Weld Center is part of a family of state-of-the-art tools at Michoud that is being used to build the core stage. Along with the engine section, it will weld barrel panels together to produce whole barrels for the SLS two pressurized tanks, the intertank and the forward skirt. It stands about three stories tall and weighs 150 tons.
Image credit: NASA/Michoud
Originally shared at NASA
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