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Farnborough Air Show

Four trends lifting Alabama aerospace industry to new altitudes

One day last month, a barge floated along the Tennessee River toward NASA’s Alabama hub, the Marshall Space Flight Center. On board was a key piece of hardware for the agency’s Space Launch System, its new deep space exploration rocket.

The hardware – fabricated at the United Launch Alliance rocket plant a few miles away in Decatur – was a prototype of the interim cryogenic propulsion stage, or ICPS. The real thing will give the SLS’s Orion capsule the in-space push it needs to get beyond the moon.

Marshall will stack the ICPS with other test articles and simulators that make up the SLS’ upper portion so that engineers can conduct structural testing to make sure the components can withstand the pressures of the mission.

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Farnborough Air Show

Wheels Up: New video captures Alabama aerospace ascent

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