HUNTSVILLE, Ala - NASA's new administrator Jim Bridenstine was sworn in just a few months ago. He stopped by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Wednesday for a tour of the facility.
"It's a day to show off, that's true," MSFC lead test engineer Matt cash said.
The crew at the Marshall Space Flight Center says it's a big day. "It's an exciting day," Matt Cash said. He is the lead test engineer for the SLS intertank structural qualification test
They are getting an opportunity to show off their facility to NASA's new administrator. "I just want to start by saying what an honor it is to be here," Jim Bridenstine said.
Bridenstine says he supports the work being done at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "100% and in fact, I've testified to that over and over again."
Big things are happening in Huntsville. NASA is working to build the world's biggest rocket and a part of it is being tested in Huntsville.
"We're building the biggest rocket ever built and it's a small role, but to be a part of that," Cash said.
"What this represents is a key piece of American architecture that's going to enable us to do more than we've ever done before," Bridenstine said. "We're about to launch the biggest rocket that has ever been launched. It's going to carry more payload than any rocket that ever has been built before. It's going to be taller than the Statue of Liberty," Bridenstine said.
The crew at MSFC is performing structural tests for the Space Launch System intertank.
"The intertank is the backbone of the rocket. It's the highest loading component on SLS. It's sandwiched between the liquid oxygen tank and the liquid hydrogen tank," Cash said.
The rocket will be used in NASA's Exploration-1 mission which is the first of increasingly complex missions that will enable astronauts to explore the moon and beyond.
Bridenstine wants people in Huntsville to know that while the Rocket City has a rich history when it comes to space exploration, "Those families that have their spouses go to work every day, their moms and dads go to work every day, that what they're doing is important to the country."
It will continue to be part of its future.