New SLS Test Stand Begins to Rise at Marshall Space Flight Center

September 3, 2015

Brasfield & Gorrie Installs First Major Piece of New Structural Test Stand for SLS

Brasfield & Gorrie installed the first major steel piece for a new structural test stand for the liquid hydrogen tank of the NASA Space Launch System’s massive core stage on August 31, 2015, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Crews welded the steel to the foundation of a structure that will rise to 215 feet—or about 23 stories—when completed in the summer of 2016, adding another distinctive feature to Marshall’s skyline.

The installation is part of a construction project led by general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie. The project includes construction of two large stands that will be used for testing the fuel tanks and other key hardware for NASA’s new Space Launch System, which will be the most powerful rocket ever built and is designed to carry astronauts into deep space.

The test stand will subject the 185-foot tank to the same pressure loads and conditions it will experience at launch. It is being built in Marshall’s West Test Area on the foundation of the stand where the Saturn V F-1 rocket engine was tested in the 1960s.