Media Invited to See NASA and Boeing Power Up SLS Flight Software Avionics


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What: Avionics that will guide NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) flight software system are now arranged in flight configuration and will power up for testing -- referred to as "first light." Media are invited to attend this major milestone event.

NASA and Boeing avionics engineers will demonstrate the vehicle's flight software and avionics and provide a tour of the facility where the testing is occuring. Avionics "first light" kicks off a series of tests of the SLS flight hardware and software, including the most powerful computer processor ever used on a launch vehicle flight system. The vehicle's avionics and the flight computer will be housed in the SLS core stage. When completed, the core stage will be more than 200 feet tall and store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle's RS-25 engines.

SLS will be capable of powering humans and potential science payloads to deep space. It has the greatest capacity of any launch system ever built, minimizing cost and risk of human exploration deep space missions.

Who: NASA and Boeing avionics experts will be on hand to answer questions and run simulations of the system to see how SLS will perform in space. The Boeing Company is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage.

When/Where: 9 a.m. CST, Thursday, Jan. 9

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Building 4205, Systems Integration and Test Facility

To attend: News media interested in attending should contact Kimberly Henry in Marshall's Public & Employee Communications Office at 256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. CST Wednesday, Jan. 8. Media interested in attending the fit check must report to the Redstone Arsenal Joint Visitor Control Center at Gate 9, Interstate 565 interchange at Rideout Road/Research Park Boulevard. Vehicles are subject to a security search at the gate. News media will need two photo identifications and proof of car insurance.

The first flight test of the SLS, which will feature a configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system, is scheduled for 2017. As the SLS evolves, it will provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130-metric-tons (143-tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system to places like Mars.

For more information on SLS, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/

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