May 20, 2014 in Insights, and Projects

Construction to begin at Marshall Space Flight Center on NASA’s Space Launch System

Structural test stands designed by joint-venture team of architecture & engineering firms


NASA Test Stand RenderingHuntsville, Ala.
  – NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will be the most powerful rocket in history and will have the largest cryogenic fuel tanks ever used on a rocket. The launch vehicle will send astronauts in NASA’s Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit into the solar system on missions to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.

To ensure that these huge structures can withstand the incredible stresses of launch, stands to test the tanks and other hardware were designed by a joint-venture team of the architecture and engineering firms GMC and Merrick & Company of Greenwood Village, Colo.


GMC Federal Project Manager Jennifer Landry credits the success of the joint-venture with Merrick & Company to the tremendous brain-power and professional expertise the team comprises. “Our JV-team’s work at Marshall Space Flight Center is fast-paced, challenging and lots of fun,” Landry said. “To work with NASA on an important part of our country’s space exploration program is my dream come true.”

NASA Test Stand Rendering 2NASA is contracting for the construction of the test stands through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will be built at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Corps awarded the $45.3 million contract to Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham, Ala. Construction of the test stands begins in late May and is expected to take one year to complete.