NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility Manufactures Liquid Natural Gas Tanks for Lockheed Martin
An aerial view of the primary manufacturing facility at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. (LMSSC-MO) View large image NEW ORLEANS -- NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the agency's only large-scale advanced manufacturing facility, soon will be building liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks with commercial applications on Earth. In a ceremony Tuesday that included Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., announced it is drawing on the unique experience and equipment at Michoud to manufacture the LNG tanks. Michoud also is crafting components for a new generation of NASA spacecraft that will take explorers deeper into space than they have traveled before. The new LNG manufacturing activity represents another innovative use of this storied human spaceflight production facility. It also is the continuation of NASA's commitment to build on the legacy of the Space Shuttle Program and be an engine of economic growth in the nation.
An aerial view of the primary manufacturing facility at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. (LMSSC-MO) View larger image
Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans is a world-class manufacturing facility providing vital support to NASA exploration and discovery missions. Michoud is NASA-owned and managed for the agency by the Marshall Space Flight Center. Michoud's capabilities include the manufacture and assembly of critical hardware components for exploration vehicles under development at Marshall and other NASA centers.
Michoud is unique in that it contains one of the largest production buildings in the nation. Its vertical assembly building proved a critical resource for stacking components of the space shuttle external tank, which was constructed, tested and delivered to NASA's Kennedy Space Center by Michoud throughout the Space Shuttle Program. Between 1979 and 2010, the facility produced 136 tanks; only one of these was never used for spaceflight.
Today, Michoud supports several major projects for America's next generation of space transportation vehicles, including NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket, managed by Marshall, and the Orion spacecraft, managed by Johnson Space Center. Michoud's highly skilled work force is manufacturing and assembling Orion and also will build the critical core stage of the SLS, which is intended to take human explorers farther into our solar system than ever before.
Helping Sustain a Vibrant New Orleans Marshall also is helping sustain a vital New Orleans economy with employment opportunities at Michoud, partnering with the State of Louisiana and the University of New Orleans, in support of the National Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Marshall works to develop new opportunities for Michoud's manufacturing, testing and laboratory capabilities, and its underused green space and real property.