Nasa daily picture for December 18: Testing the Space Launch System

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SLS engine section and intertank

To create the liquid hydrogen tank structural test article, engineers built a tank identical to the Space Launch System tank that will be flown on Exploration Mission-1, the first flight of Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft. A test article is a version of spacecraft specifically built as a platform to perform testing, which are built to the same specifications to replicate conditions and behaviors of flight-ready vehicles.

Then, as shown in this photo, engineers attached the pieces that simulate the two parts of the core stage that attach to the hydrogen tank: the engine section and the intertank. The 149-foot test article built at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans by Boeing, the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, will travel on the barge Pegasus to Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where it will be placed in the largest SLS structural test stand. 

Image Credit: NASA/Jude Guidry



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