Professionals at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, complete the weld to join the two significant parts of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The adapter, a cone-shaped piece of hardware that interfaces the rocket’s upper and lower stages, will fly on Artemis II, the initially manned mission of NASA’s Artemis program.
Utilizing advanced robotic tooling and an inventive process called erosion stir welding, experts complete the weld that joins the upper and lower cones of the LVSA into one structure.
The next step in the manufacturing process is the installation of the pneumatically incited frangible joint, which sits on the LVSA and helps separate the core stage and LVSA from the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) during flight.
As well as associating the 212-foot-tall core stage to the ICPS, the stage adapter secures aeronautics and electrical gadgets in the ICPS from outrageous vibration and acoustic conditions during launch and ascent.
The finished LVSA is about three stories tall and 30 feet in diameter. While the bigger phases of the SLS rocket are made at other NASA facilities, the LVSA flight hardware is created at Marshall Space Flight Center by Teledyne Brown Engineering in Huntsville, Alabama.
SLS is the world’s most powerful rocket and the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission. The SLS rocket, NASA’s Orion shuttle, the ground systems at Kennedy, Gateway, and human landing system are NASA’s backbone for deep space investigation.
Under the Artemis program, NASA is attempting to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon to prepare for manageable investigation at the Moon and future missions to Mars.