Working the Plan


I’ve never not been awed by the massive hardware we’re building for NASA’s Space Launch System, but we’re reaching a point where seeing it is more emotional than ever.
 
The test article of the SLS core stage liquid hydrogen tank recently installed in a test stand at Marshall Space Flight Center is, objectively and inarguably, incredible to stand at the base of. It towers over you, and is made all the more wondrous by the realization that it’s only a “small” piece of a much larger rocket.
 
But seeing it in person was made so much more powerful because its the fulfillment of so much that has gone into that day. I remember when they cleared that area, knowing they would build a test stand there. I remember when they began building the stand, knowing it would change the landscape of Huntsville. I remember signing the final beam installed at the top, knowing that this tank would eventually arrive for testing there.
 
And now it has.
 
This step, too, is an intermediate one. Structural testing paves the way for test firing of the stage. And test firing of the stage paves the way for launch. And that launch paves the way for astronauts orbiting the moon on the next.
 
I was here when Program Management planned the work. It’s incredible to now be here as we work the plan.

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