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SLS Core Stage Pathfinder prepares for barge ride to MAF

5 Sep 2017, 14:05 UTC
SLS Core Stage Pathfinder prepares for barge ride to MAF
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A full-scale model of a Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage, called the Core Stage Pathfinder, was recently completed at a plant in Northern Alabama, and will soon be shipped and turned over to NASA. A ceremony was held to mark the completion of construction and assembly of the gigantic steel article at G&G Steel’s even more enormous facility in Cordova, Alabama.

SLS Core Pathfinder:
Radiance Technologies and Dynetics were contracted by NASA to build and deliver the Pathfinder; G&G Steel performed the final welding and assembly of the steel structure.
The companies will turn over Pathfinder to NASA after they deliver it by barge from G&G’s Cordova facility on the Black Warrior River to the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, Louisiana, sometime in the next month or so.
NASA will use Pathfinder at MAF, the Stennis Space Center (SSC) in Mississippi, and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to practice handling the size and weight of a fully assembled SLS Core Stage at those different locations and transportation between them before they have to start doing it with the real thing as early as next year.
The Pathfinder was designed to mimic the “form and fit” ...

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