Press Release

NASA’s Marshall Center Completes Weld of First Ares I Development Dome

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2009
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NASA’s Marshall Center Completes Weld of First Ares I Development Dome

What: Ares Projects engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will hoist the completed development fuel tank dome for the Ares I rocket’s upper stage off the world’s largest robotic welding tool, fully completing this test article. The Ares I will launch explorers to the moon, Mars and beyond in coming decades.

NASA is using a metal joining technique called friction stir welding to manufacture the Ares launch vehicles. The innovative welding process produces high-strength welds that are uniformly bonded together — a vital requirement for next-generation launch vehicles and hardware designed for long-term space travel.

NASA managers and engineers will be available for interview and media will be able to videotape and photograph active friction stir welding in Marshall Center’s Weld Development Facility.

Who: Craig McArthur, deputy manager, Ares Upper Stage Office Bob Carter, lead weld development facility engineer, Metals Engineering Branch, Materials and Processes Laboratory

When: Tuesday, July 14, 12:30 p.m. CDT

Where: Marshall Center, Building 4755 South Bay, Weld Development Facility

To attend: News media interested in covering the event should contact the Marshall Public & Employee Communications Office at (256) 544-0034. Media 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. Media will be escorted to Building 4755. Visitor parking is available in front of Bldg. 4200 on the southwest side.

For more information about NASA’s exploration program, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.