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SLS engine carrier arrives in Huntsville for testing

Updated: May. 16, 2017 at 6:56 PM CDT
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Pegasus will be structurally tested at Marshall Space Flight Center for the SLS flight....
Pegasus will be structurally tested at Marshall Space Flight Center for the SLS flight. (Source: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Pegasus pulled into port at NASA on Tuesday, carrying the massive engine section for SLS.

It will undergo rigorous tests at Marshall Space Flight Center in about four months to verify its airworthiness, efficiency and safety.

It was a 10-state, multi-river trip that took 17 days at 5 miles to get here.

The engine section will be offloaded on Wednesday but will actually take about four  months to configure into a test stand.

SLS's first flight is now delayed because of manufacturing challenges.

John Honeycutt, NASA's SLS manager, said it is the "unknown, unknowns" when you are doing something "so new." But he plans to try to buy back some time.

"The technology that we are using to weld the core stage is new. The thickness of the materials is new. We are breaking ground. It will be a benefit to our country from an industrial base once we get there. We are making good progress, but that's a challenge," Honeycutt said.

SLS is now scheduled to fly sometime in 2019.

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