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.