On Thursday, August 24, 2017 the Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter (LVSA) built by Teledyne Brown Engineering for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), was moved from Marshall Space Flight Center’s (MSFC) Advanced Weld Facility (Building 4755) to the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing (Building 4707). This move is a significant milestone for the program, marking the completion of the friction stir welding of the conical hardware which connects the core stage of the SLS rocket with the upper stage.
During this transfer, the 27.6-foot diameter, 30-foot tall section of space hardware was carried via transport truck on a stand built specifically for LVSA by Teledyne Brown Engineering. The trip took close to 5 hours to move a distance of approximately .8 miles Thursday morning. At its new location, the LVSA will be outfitted for the application of the Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) Spray on Foam Insulation (SOFI). This will be the largest structure to be manually sprayed at Marshall with this type of foam.
“This is an effort of great magnitude physically and programmatically for our company and for Marshall Space Flight Center,” stated Jan Hess, President of Teledyne Brown Engineering. “LVSA is the largest piece of a rocket to be manufactured at Marshall in Huntsville since the Apollo era.”
Once the SOFI application is complete, Teledyne Brown Engineering will outfit the hardware with cabling, electrical interface panels, sensors, cameras, duct work, acoustic blankets, access doors and quick disconnects, all in preparation for the vehicles eventual launch scheduled for 2019.