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Space Launch System Monthly Accomplishments – May 2014

June 1st, 2014

SLS Structural Test Stands to be Built at Marshall Space Flight Center
SLS will have the largest cryogenic fuel tanks ever used on a rocket. Stands to test the tanks and other hardware to ensure that these huge structures can withstand the incredible stresses of launch will be built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Full story here.

Hardware Arrives at Cape Ahead of Orion’s First Flight Test

The port booster, stage adapter and the second stage of the Delta IV rocket—which will take NASA’s Orion spacecraft to space for its first flight test—recently arrived by barge in Cape Canaveral, Florida, from United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama.
The adapter, designed and built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, will connect Orion to the Delta IV rocket. United Launch Alliance is constructing the Delta IV for that maiden flight. The hardware is now housed at the Horizontal Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 37 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The pieces are being processed and checked out prior to being moved to the nearby launch pad. (NASA/KSC)

NASA Achieves Key Milestone Leading to RS-25 Engine Testing

A member of the A-1 Test Stand operations team examines the progress of a cold-shock test on the new A-1 structural piping system May 1. The test marked a milestone in preparing the stand to test the RS-25 rocket engines that will power the core stage of the SLS. Delivery and installation of the first RS-25 engine is planned for early summer. For the full story, click here.(NASA/Stennis)

Engineers Test NASA’s SLS Booster Forward Skirt to the Limits

NASA and ATK engineers complete structural loads testing on the SLS booster forward skirt at ATK’s facility in Promontory, Utah. Structural loads tests are performed to ensure each piece of hardware can endure loads without any adverse effects to the vehicle, or most importantly, to the crew. For the forward skirt test, engineers used increments of force—about 200,000 pounds per minute—to prove the design capabilities meet the strength requirements, with sufficient margin. The structure was
also subjected to a combination of axial and lateral loads, which are critical at liftoff. For the full story, and video, click here. (ATK)

Spaceflight Partners: PEM Technologies

PEM Technologies, LLC has been working with Aerojet Rocketdyne since 2012 to develop a final machining and finishing process for ball valve components of the main fuel flow control for the J-2X engine.

Formed in 2010 to provide advanced electrochemical machining technology with facilities in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania, PEM Technologies, LLC is co-located with JV Manufacturing where together the companies develop, demonstrate, manufacture and support PEM machining of high accuracy, fine surface finish components.

PEM, which stands for Precision Electrolytic Machining, is a process of full-form machining of metal components by dislodging surface atoms with a preformed metal electrode that never touches the workpiece. A solution of deionized water and salt provide a conductive path between the electrode and workpiece while a precise DC voltage pulse causes a current that result in precise metal removal without any degradation to the surface.

“The most interesting and challenging aspect about working with this technology is finding, developing and implementing new applications for the PEM process, such as components for artificial heart valves, fuel cells, diesel engine fuel systems and jet engines,” said Don Risko, Vice President of PEM Technologies. “The opportunity to support America’s space program by developing a cost effective said Don Risko, Vice President of PEM Technologies. “The opportunity to support America’s space program by developing a cost effective Technology.”

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