BREMEN, Germany (OHB AG PR) — MT Aerospace AG, part of the European space and technology group OHB AG, signed an authorization to proceed with The Boeing Company for the development and production of large tank components for the NASA Space Launch System (SLS) core stage. Boeing is a prime contractor for the SLS, which is scheduled for first launch in 2017.
MT Aerospace was selected for the development and production of large aluminum segments of the propellant tanks for the SLS main stage. The components will be produced in Augsburg, Germany, and then shipped to the SLS main assembly plant in New Orleans, Louisiana.
MT Aerospace is using an automated forming technology to provide 3-by-3 meter dome panels with a 3-dimensional curvature in just one production step. With a diameter of 8.4 meters and a length of approximately 65 meters, the SLS main-stage tanks will hold nearly 1000 tons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen and will be 30 percent larger than the External Tank of the retired Space Shuttle.
The SLS will be the most powerful rocket in history and is designed to be flexible and evolvable, to meet a variety of crew and cargo mission needs.