Video shows engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, completing the welds to form the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The launch vehicle stage adapter in this video will fly on Artemis II, the first crewed mission of NASA’s Artemis program. Upon stacking the upper and lower cones, technicians use advanced robotic tooling and an innovative process called friction stir welding, to join the cones of the LVSA to form one structure.
The next step in the manufacturing process is the installation of the pneumatically actuated frangible joint which sits atop the LVSA and helps separate the core stage and LVSA from the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) during flight. After the core stage launches the rocket, the ICPS provides the power to send the Orion spacecraft and its crew to the Moon.
Video credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center