HUNTSVILLE, Ala., May 15, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Media are invited to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Tuesday, May 16 at 11:30 CDT to see the NASA barge Pegasus and the engine section test article, the first core stage test article for NASA's Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket.
The barge Pegasus, carrying a structural test version of the massive SLS rocket's engine section, just arrived at Marshall on May 15 after a 1,240-mile voyage from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The barge left Michoud on April 28. The delivery -- the first of major SLS hardware from Michoud to Marshall -- marks a critical milestone toward the first integrated flight of the SLS rocket and NASA's Orion spacecraft, and a step closer to sending humans to deep space destinations, including Mars.
Media interested in attending Tuesday, May 16 should contact Tracy McMahan in Marshall's Office of Communications at 256-682-5326 no later than 10 a.m. CDT, Tuesday May, 16. Media must report to the Redstone Arsenal Joint Visitor Control Center at Gate 9, Interstate 565 interchange at Research Park Boulevard by 10:30 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 16. NASA officials and members of the barge crew will be available for interviews. Journalists must wear long pants and closed-toe shoes with heels no higher than two inches. Vehicles are subject to a security search at the gate. Photo identification and proof of car insurance is required.
NASA modified Pegasus to accommodate the SLS rocket's core stage, increasing the barge's length and weight-carrying capacity. The SLS rocket's core stage is 50 feet longer than the space shuttle external tank.
The first of four core stage test articles manufactured at Michoud scheduled to be delivered to Marshall for testing, the engine section will house four RS-25 engines and connect the core stage to the SLS rocket's two solid rocket motors. The structural qualification test article was designed with the same specifications as the engine section that will fly on first integrated flight of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft.
At Marshall, the test articles will undergo extensive testing. Engineers will push, pull, and bend the hardware to ensure it can withstand the extreme forces the rocket will experience during launch, liftoff and flight. The tests along with analytical models and other data will show that the design of the engine section is structurally sound. In the future media will have the opportunity to tour the engine section test stand and view the engine section structural test article that Pegasus delivered.
For more information on the SLS structural loads testing, visit: