Major Welding Begins on Crucial Connection for SLS

Wed, September 09, 2015

Major welding has begun at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on a structural test article of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA), which connects the core stage to the upper stage of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. The upper stage, known as the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, gives the Orion spacecraft the big, in-space push needed to fly beyond the moon before the spacecraft returns to Earth for the first flight test of SLS. The work is in close collaboration with prime contractor Teledyne Brown of Huntsville. In addition, NASA engineers have already completed structural test articles of the Orion stage adapter, core stage simulator and Orion spacecraft simulator. A test article for the interim cryogenic propulsion stage is currently in production at United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama. When the test versions of all the parts are completed, engineers will stack them and move the 56-foot tall structure to a Marshall test stand for testing to verify the integrity of the hardware and ensure it can withstand the loads it may experience during flight.

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