NASA, Boeing Prepare Future SLS Upper Stage Dome for Welding

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NASA, Boeing Prepare Future SLS Upper Stage Dome for Welding
NASA, Boeing Prepare Future SLS Upper Stage Dome for Welding

Image credit: NASA / Eric Bordelon

Futuramic’s LOX Tank Assembly Center (LTAC) tool, built for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, preforms a circumvential self reacting friction stir weld of the FWD to AFT Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) Liquid Oxygen (LOX) domes. When completed EUS LOX tank is ready for post weld prep then Thermal Protection System (TPS) spray-on foam insulation coating.

“These images show technicians at NASA’s NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans lifting and installing the liquid oxygen dome weld confidence article for a future upper stage for NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket onto the LTAC (LOX Tank Assembly Center) in Building 115 at Michoud for the next phase of manufacturing in July 2023.

The dome makes up a portion of the liquid oxygen tank weld confidence article for the EUS (exploration upper stage). Teams use weld confidence articles to verify welding procedures and structural integrity of the welds to manufacture structural test and flight versions of the hardware.

EUS flight hardware is in early production at Michoud. The more powerful upper stage and its four RL10 engines will be used on the second configuration of the SLS rocket, known as Block 1B, and will provide in-space propulsion to send astronauts in NASA’s Orion spacecraft and heavy cargo on a precise trajectory to the Moon. NASA and Boeing, the lead contractor for the SLS core stage and EUS, are manufacturing SLS stages for Artemis II, III, IV, and V at the facility.

NASA is working to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon under Artemis. SLS is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with Orion and the Gateway in orbit around the Moon. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.” – via NASA Image and Video Library

LOX Tank Assembly Center (LTAC) Installation