HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Huntsville had a very special visitor on Friday. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden stopped by the Rocket City for a tour of Marshall Space Flight Center. Bolden applauded Marshall for using cutting-edge techniques such as a piece of machinery that is used in selective laser melting, similar to 3-D printing. The melting allows metal parts to be produced without welding. It's one of many processes that Bolden says helps cut time and costs.
"We're looking at an additive manufacturing process," said Bolden. "Marshall is one of the centers in NASA that does this. We're trying to find ways to do things we need and components more efficiently, cheaper and quicker."
Bolden toured the Advanced Manufacturing Facility. He says he was impressed with the techniques that are being utilized to create engine parts for the Space Launch System. He says that Marshall Space Flight Center plays a big role in SLS and is leading the way on many projects.
"We're also looking at things that can be done such as, how can we take this room, put it on a spacecraft, and take it with you," said Bolden. "That would be so that if something breaks you can do what they're doing (here at Marshall) on your way to Mars."
Bolden says he loves the Rocket City and he enjoys spending time in Huntsville.
"People that live here should know that Marshall is an integral part of NASA," he said. "It's who we are, to be quite honest."