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NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion Team Recognize Wisconsin Suppliers at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2016
Team Members to Feature Journey to Mars Exhibits and Forums During the Event

Washington, D.C., July 25, 2016 – NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion industry team are at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2016 in Wisconsin this week to recognize local supplier companies and showcase the technologies that will launch humans into deep space.

“The EAA Airventure audience is uniquely informed and excited to hear the latest information on the journey to Mars,” said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager for Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division, and four-time space shuttle astronaut. “The first flight of SLS and Orion is just around the corner, and flight hardware is in its final stages of test and production. We have our tremendous supplier base to thank for that, including supplier companies right here in Wisconsin.”

Four major industry players are building the SLS and Orion spacecraft for NASA’s crewed exploration missions that will travel beyond the moon and into deep space. Boeing is designing, developing, producing and testing the rocket’s core and upper stages, as well as the avionics. Orbital ATK provides the five-segment solid rocket boosters that are the largest ever built for flight, together producing 7.2 million pounds of maximum thrust, boosting the SLS rocket off of the launch pad, and Aerojet Rocketdyne provides the reliable, flight-proven RS-25 and RL10 engines for the core and upper stage that carry SLS and Orion into orbit and on to deep space. Lockheed Martin is designing and building the Orion spacecraft, which will fly on top of SLS and transport astronauts farther into space than ever before.

Supporting the four prime contractors are numerous suppliers in 48 states across the United States. Current suppliers in Wisconsin include ATI Metals (Ladish Company) in Cudahy; Marine Travelift in Sturgeon Bay; Amorim Cork Composites in Trevor; and Hentzen Coatings in Milwaukee.

“While we’re spending this week in Wisconsin during EAA Airventure, we want to give a shout out to our suppliers in this state,” said Mark Gann, Boeing supply chain leader for SLS. “As prime contractors, we ultimately rely on our supplier base to come through in a big way. Thanks to all of our suppliers for their great work – particularly, this week, those in Wisconsin.”

NASA’s deep space team members will have Journey to Mars displays and information, forums and special guests, to include current astronaut Mike Hopkins on Friday, July 29. Forums will include former astronauts sharing their insights about working in space, how to become an astronaut and careers in space exploration. Special appearances for WomenVenture are also on the agenda.

Learn more about Space Launch System and Orion

Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), which is on schedule to launch in 2018, will be the first time the SLS is integrated with the Orion spacecraft and flies into space. The mission will send Orion into lunar distant retrograde orbit – a wide orbit around the moon that is farther from Earth than any human-rated spacecraft has ever traveled. The uncrewed mission will last about three weeks and will prove the design and safety of Orion and SLS for human exploration missions to follow.

Recent SLS milestones leading up to EM-1 include the final qualification ground test of the SLS booster, continuation of RS-25 engine test-firing, and flight hardware production of the major elements that make up the rocket’s core stage. Boeing is producing core stage flight hardware at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility and building out additional test and integration facilities. Additionally, Boeing and NASA are completing avionics systems at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center that will control launch and guidance systems for the rocket.

Aerojet Rocketdyne continues its testing of the RS-25 engines at NASA’s Stennis Space Center to evaluate their performance under the extreme environments that the SLS vehicle will demand. For example, during the eight and a half minutes of flight, each of the four RS-25 engines will experience temperatures ranging from negative 423 degrees Fahrenheit to 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lockheed Martin engineers will soon move the EM-1 crew module into the clean room at Kennedy Space Center and begin to install the propulsion and environmental control and life support systems. Exploration Mission-2 hardware is also in work.

For more information about SLS and Orion, visit:

Aerojet Rocketdyne:


Lockheed Martin:

Orbital ATK:

To learn more about EM-1, visit

To explore the network of companies in 48 states supporting deep space missions, visit the SLS and Orion supplier map at:

Aerojet Rocketdyne:
Mary Engola

Lockheed Martin:
Allison Rakes

Patricia Soloveichik

Orbital ATK:
Kay Anderson
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