This Is the Huge Fuel Tank NASA Will Use to Reach the Depths of Space

NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel

Don’t even ask how much this fuel tank will cost to fill. The giant cylinder is just one of the two tanks that will hold the fuel used to power NASA’s new Space Launch System when it blasts off to take missions to Mars and deep space.

NASA engineers completed the final welding of the liquid oxygen tank this month. The huge component measures 200 feet tall and 27.6 feet wide. It will store oxygen, while another tank will hold liquid hydrogen—together, they will feed the vehicle’s powerful RS-25 engines.

These wide-angle images, shot through a 16 mm fish-eye lens, let you see an awful lot of the Vertical Assembly Center at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans where the tanks are built. Construction involved a 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide state-of-the-art welding toolkit—that’s the big blue structure below.

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NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel
NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel
NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel
NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel
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NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel

[Marshall Space Flight Center/NASA]

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Attila Nagy

image curator, photo editor, photographer // budapest, hungary