Suggested Searches

2 min read

NASA Invites Media to View Space Launch System Progress

WASHINGTON – NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier and other agency officials will debut a new machine for manufacturing NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and check on development progress with the heavy-lift rocket at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans Friday, June 21.

NASA is inviting media representatives to attend a 9:15 a.m. CDT ribbon-cutting ceremony for the vertical weld center, where friction-stir weld tooling will be used to assemble the SLS core stage, then join officials on a tour of the SLS assembly area and work in support of NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
Michoud is critical to the construction and testing of SLS, which is managed and in development at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Officials of The Boeing Company of Huntsville, Ala., prime contractor for the SLS core stage and its avionics, will take part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 200 foot-tall core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to feed the rocket’s RS-25 engines. The vertical weld center will stand about three stories tall and weigh 165 tons.
Journalists who want to attend the event should contact Chip Howat at or 504-214-6745 no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, June 20. Media must report to 13800 Old Gentilly Road and enter Gate 11, which is located east of Building 101, by 8:30 a.m. June 21 for access to the facility. Official media credentials with photo identification are required for access.
NASA is developing the SLS rocket and Orion to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. It will expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration in the solar system, including to an asteroid and Mars.
For more information on NASA’s SLS, visit:

– end –

Rachel Kraft
Headquarters, Washington
Kimberly Henry
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Chip Howat
Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans