NASA Moves Core Stage 3 Intertank

Futuramic AdminNews

Futuramic’s tooling and machined flight hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) are used to assembly the Core Stage intertank for Artemis III at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. Many Futuramic tools helped complete this job and included the Intertank Final Assembly Tool and numerous machined intertank flight hardware panels. Besides the Intertank two other Futuramic Tools are in the picture above, a Gore Weld Tool and a Circumferential Weld Tool are on the left of the intertank. Just slightly out of view to the right is the Circumferential Weld Tool #2, another Futuramic tool.

Technicians at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility move the intertank of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for Artemis III to Cell G on October 26, 2022 to await application of the thermal protection system. Thermal protection systems protect space vehicles from aerodynamic heating during entry to planet atmosphere and re-entry to earth atmosphere. The intertank lays between the liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank. Together with the engine section and the forward skirt, they comprise the SLS core stage. The liquid hydrogen tank and liquid oxygen tank hold 733,000 gallons of propellant to power the stage’s four RS-25 engines needed for liftoff and Artemis missions to the Moon and future missions to Mars. ” – via

Intertank Final Assembly Tool

Futuramic’s Intertank Final Assembly Tool at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility

This Intertank Final Assembly Tool consists of three removable assembly platforms that disassemble in a “cake box” fashion allowing the tooling to be removed from the finished intertank in the limited height environment. The tool does incorporate numerous drill jigs including the 720 holes that create the interface between the LOX and the LH2 tanks. All combined Futuramic tools are used to drill more than 5000 precision located holes for structural assembly and attachment.

Futuramic’s Intertank Final Assembly Tool at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility

Flight Hardware

A Core Stage 3 Intertank barrel panel manufactured by Futuramic.

Intertank Being Moved to Cell G at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility

NASA SLS Core Stage

The SLS core stage is made up of five unique elements: the forward skirt, liquid oxygen tank, intertank, liquid hydrogen tank, and the engine section. The liquid oxygen hardware, along with the liquid hydrogen tank will provide propellant to the four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines to produce more than two million pounds of thrust to help launch NASA’s Orion spacecraft, astronauts, and supplies beyond Earth’s orbit to the Moon.