Michoud facility ready to cut metal for SLS - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Michoud facility ready to cut metal for SLS

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Source: MGN Online Source: MGN Online

NASA and Boeing officials are ready to cut metal on some major components of the nation's deep space rocket.

Friday morning in New Orleans, the Michoud assembly facility unveiled a new massive, three-story tall cylindrical vertical weld center for the Space Launch System. From this cylinder, curved alumninum panels will be welded together to make the core stage of the SLS.

This week in Huntsville, Marshall Space Flight Center managers scrutinized the preliminary design review for the SLS. MSFC Director Patrick Scheuermann was asked how one begins to build the world's largest rocket before receiving final design approval.

"We know the diameter and length of the tanks," Scheuermann said. "We've done a lot of computer analysis to know we're right on track for what we need to do."

The Michoud facility in Louisiana is overseen by the MSFC. There are currently 250 people working on the SLS program there. That number is expected to grow to as many as 500 employees.

The SLS is expected to take flight in 2017.

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