NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) near New Orleans, Louisiana is the first centre to be awarded manufacturing and assembly work for the US agency’s Exploration Transportation System (ETS), which consists of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and Shuttle-derived launchers for manned and cargo lunar missions.

MAF is to manufacture the Crew Launch Vehicle’s (CLV) upper stage and assemble the Earth Departure Stage, which would send the CEV and Lunar Surface Access Module to the Moon.

“Assembly of the CLV upper stage and EDS will be done at Michoud in Louisiana because it is an existing, government-owned facility with unique manufacturing capabilities,” says NASA.

MAF has 4,500 employees, around 2,000 of whom work for Lockheed Martin. The Michoud site also produces the Shuttle external tank.

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Source: Flight International