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NASA Associate Administrator likes what he sees at Marshall Space Flight Center

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Robert Lightfoot talks to the crowd about the SLS project. (Gregg Stone/WHNT News 19)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot was in Huntsville this week.  He attended the annual meeting of Downtown Huntsville Inc. at the Von Braun Center and visited Marshall Space Flight Center, where he served as deputy director from 2007 to 2009.

“When I was here, we had just cancelled Constellation. The shuttle was retiring. There was a lot of concern,” Lightfoot recalled.

However, he said he found a much different environment at MSFC during this week’s visit. “What I saw… I felt like when you plug your iPhone into the charger. I got recharged.”

The excitement at MSFC is partially fueled by some upcoming tests at the center.

In March, the Space Launch System’s solid rocket motor will be tested.

Throughout the spring and summer, the SLS’s RS-25 engine will be put through its paces.

MSFC Director Patrick Scheuermann says, “it’s one of those things where NASA is flying again and we have a lot of work to do to get ready for SLS.”

SLS, NASA’s deep-space rocket, is scheduled to launch in 2018.