Standing 295 feet tall and equipped with a 200-ton main derrick lifting crane, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) John C. Stennis Space Center’s B-2 Test Stand is an imposing structure. Historically used to test-fire Saturn V rockets that would carry humans to the moon, NASA sought to upgrade the B-2 for service in the development of a heavy lift rocket for the Mars mission. But first, the aging stand needed a complete condition assessment of its structural, mechanical, and electrical systems. Contracted to provide the assessment, PRIME AE worked with NASA in its first step to upgrading the B-2 Test Stand for its new mission.
NASA had planned to demolish and then rebuild a 700-ton building sub assembly in a new location. PRIME AE presented NASA with a cost savings solution to move the sub assembly, resulting in a savings of 90 days on the schedule and millions of dollars from the budget. The Director of Mission Safety and Assurance Directorate stated that the relocation, “…marks the point in time and place where this collection of Stennis Space Center employees moved into greatness.”
To ensure its integrity in any weather conditions, PRIME AE had the geometrically complex structure modeled in a wind tunnel to obtain a more accurate value of hurricane wind forces than could be achieved from any calculations. The modeling resulted in the specification of hurricane wind resistant retractable walls.
We are proud to have made this contribution to support our nation’s space program and play a part in NASA’s continued pursuit of innovation and exploration.