Fri, Oct 01, 2010
External Tank Production Ends At NASA Michoud Assembly
NASA has signed a $60.3 million contract modification to space
shuttle main engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Inc. of Canoga Park, CA, to provide continued space shuttle main
engine prelaunch, launch and landing support from October 1, 2010,
through March 31, 2011.
This action is based on an extension to the current Space
Shuttle Program flight manifest launch schedule, which shifted the
last two scheduled launch dates into fiscal year 2011. This
modification brings the total potential value of the contract to
However, the plant that produced the large, orange external
tanks which delivered fuel to those main engines is shutting
After 37 years and 136 tanks delivered, Lockheed Martin
announced Thursday that production of the Space Shuttle External
Tank (ET) has come to an end at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility
in New Orleans.
The final tank arrived at Kennedy Space Center on September 27,
ending a production program that began with contract award on
September 5, 1973. Two shuttle launches remain in the program -- on
November 1 this year and February 26 next year.
"The Space Shuttle has provided a pathway for America's
leadership in space exploration," said Manny Zulueta, Lockheed
Martin vice president & site executive at Michoud. "Working
alongside NASA on the External Tank has been a gratifying and
historic experience for our employees."
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