Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Space Station To Get "Boost" From Stronger, Lighter Alloy -- NASA Completes Purchase Of Material For 60 Shuttle External Tanks

Date:
April 30, 1999
Source:
Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA and Lockheed Martin have completed negotiations for a $625.6 million contract to build 60 lightweight external tanks for the Space Shuttle

NASA and Lockheed Martin Michoud Space Systems, of New Orleans, La., have completednegotiations on a contract worth $625.6 million for the final purchase of materials needed tobuild 60 new Space Shuttle external fuel tanks.

"Together, with two earlier purchases of materials and equipment, we now have everythingwe need to build our sixth production order of external tanks for the Space Shuttle Program,"said Parker Counts, manager of the External Tank Project Office at NASA's Marshall SpaceFlight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

This sixth purchase of tanks will be the first comprised totally of Super Lightweight Tanks.This newest version of the tank is the same size as the previous Lightweight Tank design,but weighs approximately 7,500 pounds less. Its liquid hydrogen tank and the liquid oxygentank are made of a new aluminum lithium alloy, a lighter - but 30 percent stronger - materialthan the previous aerospace aluminum alloy used for the Lightweight Tank.

The lighter tank allows the Shuttle to deliver various elements of the International SpaceStation - such as the Unity module launched last December - into the proper orbit.

NASA has purchased a total of 119 external tanks. To date, 93 have been flown. The last ofthe fifth production order is scheduled to be delivered in August 2001.

Production of the new order of tanks will start in 2000 at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facilityin New Orleans, with the first one scheduled for delivery to the agency's Kennedy SpaceCenter, Fla., in 2002.

"It takes about 20 to 22 months to build a tank once the purchased materials are received atthe factory," Counts said. "The first tank of this new order will fly probably in 2002. This buyshould carry the Shuttle program well into the next century."

"The Super Lightweight Tank has been a challenging tank to produce," Counts said. "But,as we expected, the initial cost to produce it has come down as our government/industryteam gains experience and makes improvements to our manufacturing equipment andprocesses."

Measuring 154 feet tall and 27.5 feet in diameter, the external tank is the largest singleelement of the Space Shuttle. During launch, the tank also acts as the structural backbonefor the Shuttle orbiter and solid rocket boosters attached to it.

The external tank holds the liquid hydrogen fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer for the Shuttle'sthree main engines. The tank is the only part of the Shuttle not reused. After its 526,000gallons of propellants are consumed during the first eight and one-half minutes of flight, it isjettisoned from the orbiter and breaks up in the upper atmosphere, its pieces falling intoremote ocean waters.

The Super Lightweight Tank made its first flight in June 1998 on the STS-91 mission.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Marshall Space Flight Center. "Space Station To Get "Boost" From Stronger, Lighter Alloy -- NASA Completes Purchase Of Material For 60 Shuttle External Tanks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990429100322.htm>.
Marshall Space Flight Center. (1999, April 30). Space Station To Get "Boost" From Stronger, Lighter Alloy -- NASA Completes Purchase Of Material For 60 Shuttle External Tanks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990429100322.htm
Marshall Space Flight Center. "Space Station To Get "Boost" From Stronger, Lighter Alloy -- NASA Completes Purchase Of Material For 60 Shuttle External Tanks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990429100322.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

NASA (July 18, 2014) Apollo 11 yesterday, Next Giant Leap tomorrow, Science instruments for Europa mission, and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins