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Rocketology: NASA’s Space Launch System

All Roads Lead to the Pad

2 Aug 2016, 15:57 UTC
All Roads Lead to the Pad
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

A large truck can transport a rocket component the size of one engine. But how do you transport a piece as tall as, say, the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
NASA is preparing for the first of many flights of the agency’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. Every day we’re making progress toward their first integrated test flight. Today, that work is taking place at numerous sites around the country, but the work of that nationwide team is firmly focused on one place – the launch pad.
Hundreds of companies across every state have been a part of SLS and the Orion crew spacecraft, many of them small businesses providing specialized components or services. That work comes together at NASA and prime contractor facilities where the “big pieces” are assembled before it all comes together on the launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
A test article of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage was delivered to Marshall Space Flight Center from United Launch Alliance in June.
1) Second Stage, From Alabama to Florida by Barge
Some of the pieces have a relatively direct route to the launch pad. At Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where ...

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