HUNTSVILLE, Wing. – The 215ft test stand at the Marshall Space Fun Center is impressive, and its job is to prove a piece of equipment that is even more impressive than the stand itself.
Here is the biggest test drive since the days of space shuttle: testing the liquid hydrogen tank which is the largest fuel tank ever made for a rocket.
"SLS will be the largest capacity and capacity ever built for an earlier rocket," said Tim Flores, the Space Flight Flight Center integration manager.
Here's the largest piece of structural test hardware for the SLS – the 149-foot hydraulic hydrogen tank for the core phase – has been downloaded on NASA's 465-foot Standstraw Test at the Marshall Space Flight Center on January 14.
"This test stall contains 7 million pounds of steel above ground, which is still a 104,000-bunn liquid hydrogen test tank," said Flores.
The tank will go through probation simulations to make sure it will hold under pressure when it's time for the actual test launch. NASA said that dozens of hydraulic cylinders in Test 4693 will "push and pull the tank," setting stressing that the core phase will be expected during the launch.
There's a look to see now, but its assembling was just as amazing. Up to 150 people were working alongside NASA workers working on it during the closure of the partial government. But even without pay, they were happy to be there.
"You see a lot of smile faces because when you have a similar piece, that's a roller, it's very exciting," said Flores.
The rocket will be used in NASA Exploration 1's mission – the first of increasingly complex trips that will allow the astronauts to explore the moon and beyond.
From now on, the first test flight has scheduled for summer 2020.