Final processing of the Space Launch System (SLS) Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) – the in-space stage of the NASA heavy-lift rocket –was moved into storage Wednesday from its United Launch Alliance facility. The Boeing modified ICPS, built by ULA, will be cleaned and maintained at the Space Station Processing Facility, prior to final delivery to the Vertical Assembly Building for stacking operations and final checkout.
The four hour transport operation, while secured in a ULA Vertical Transport Fixture, all lifted and maneuvered by a pallet mounted to the Elevating Platform Transporter, will terminate at the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF). In preparation for SLS vehicle mate operations, the ICPS will be similarly transported to the VAB where it will be staged for SLS stacking operations. SLS vehicle build up will include booster mates to the core stage, launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) mating to the core stage, and ICPS mating to the LVSA. Finally, the crew vehicle stage adapter, service module and Orion crew capsule with Launch Abort System (LAS) will be mated to the ICPS and complete the EM-1 configuration.
The ICPS was shipped from ULA’s Decatur facility in late February for final processing, installation of the Nozzle Extension Deployment System (NEDS), and other closeout of work.