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ESAB Orbital Welding System Hits The Big Time!

In a YouTube video posted by NASA’s Marshall Center, a 60-second time lapse shows the construction of one of ESAB’s massive hydrogen fuel tanks, which will help launch the Orion spacecraft.

ESAB’s orbital welding system {that is the largest welding tool in the world} – the Vertical Assembly Centre – is at the core of the tank fabrication. The VAC welds sections of the fuel tank together using the Friction Stir Process.

As described by NASA: “The liquid hydrogen tank for the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket – the new heavy-lift rocket being built…at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans… The hydrogen tank comprises nearly two-thirds of the length of the 212-foot-long core stage and will help quench the thirst of the four RS-25 engines that, along with the twin solid rocket boosters, will launch the Orion spacecraft and carry crew to deep space destination and eventually Mars. This qualification tank will be moved to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for structural testing. Testing ensures the flight articles will be able to sustain the extreme forces experienced during launch. Tanks and other parts of the core stage that will be flown on the maiden flight of SLS and Orion are also under construction at Michoud.”

For more about NASA’s Space Launch System, visit: