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NASA, Louisiana Officials Break Ground for $40 Million Research, Development Building at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans
Kimberly Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

News release: 08-008

This rendering depicts a concept for a new Research and Development Administration Building to be constructed at the Michoud Assembly Facility. NEW ORLEANS -- NASA and Louisiana leaders broke ground in December for a $40 million, five-story Research and Development Administration Building at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony were Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco; Michael Olivier, Louisiana secretary of economic development; Robert Lightfoot, deputy director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.; and Sheila Cloud, transition director of the Michoud Facility.

Managed by the Marshall Center, Michoud contains one of the largest production buildings in the nation, which includes a vertical assembly building for stacking external tank components for the Space Shuttle Program. Michoud has been selected by NASA to support several major projects for the Constellation Program, which is developing NASA's next-generation of crew exploration and launch vehicles. The facility will manufacture and assemble the upper stage of the Ares I crew launch vehicle, the core stage and Earth departure stage of the Ares V cargo launch vehicle and the Orion crew exploration vehicle, and conduct final systems integration and checkout of Ares I avionics systems.

The new facility will include some 350 administrative and business offices; education and training resources; a top-level conference center; and collaborative research and development space for NASA and Michoud's key partner organizations.

The new building is scheduled to open in December 2010.

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