Connecting the Core

Futuramic AdminNews

Major assembly is almost complete on the core stage intertank for the first launch of SLS. This robust structure will connect two massive fuel tanks that form the bulk of the stage.

The intertank to be flown on the first integrated flight of the Space Launch System and Orion is nearly finished and will soon undergo application of thermal protection systems at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

The intertank is located between the core stage liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks. It is the only piece of the core stage that is made by bolting pieces together, rather than by welding.
It is the thickest core stage structure because it has to be strong to withstand the forces of the solid rocket boosters attached to it.

NASA’s Picture of Week features the Futuramic supplied Intertank Final Assembly Jig. This tool is one of the few tools that was saved and re-purposed at the end of the Space Shuttle Program. Futuramic designed and performed a major rebuild of this tool so it can meet the demanding dimensional requirements of the SLS. FTE also supplied all the drill jigs and Thrust Beam assembly tooling that was used by NASA and Boeing to build the Intertank Assembly. This is a great accomplishment by Futuramic and our customers. Image Credit: NASA/MSFC Michoud image: Judy Guidry