MSFC Update: New operations center, launch system prep - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

MSFC Update: New operations center, launch system prep

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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A brand new million dollar payload operations center debuted at the Marshall Space Flight Center Wednesday.

After 72 days of refurbishing, the new 24/7 POC center controls all the scientific operation onboard the International Space Station. The ISS had been operating with antiquated systems for the last 13 years and is now state-of-the-art to better keep up with the steady increase of activity on the space station.

Astronauts are now doing as much as 72 hours worth of science experiments each week.

The space shuttle Atlantis was the last manned American flight to the ISS before its retirement two years ago. In less than ten days, you will be able to visit the new Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center. The exhibit is 90,000 square feet and tells the story of NASA's 30-year space program.

The next vehicle NASA will build is the Space Launch System. The SLS Team at the Marshall Space Flight Center wrapped up its two-day preliminary design review Wednesday. MSFC Director Patrick Scheuermann says they've been running the numbers and proofing their work, and they are ready to send the SLS design to Washington.

"We need to do our job as a self-assessment to prove to ourselves we are ready to take that next milestone," said Scheuermann. "That next milestone is getting formal approval and will happen at Headquarters in the fall."

The SLS will be built on legacy hardware. Marshall has been manufacturing parts of the SLS for more than a year. This Friday at the Michoud Assembly facility in Louisiana, Marshall will unveil several new technologies the agency will use in piecing together this huge rocket.

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