Press Release

Boeing and MT Aerospace expand transatlantic cooperation

Boeing orders further structural components for NASA's SLS rocket

NASA's return to the moon – with safety-critical structural components from Augsburg-based MT Aerospace for the upper stage of the Space Launch System (SLS). © NASA/Boeing

Augsburg, 17 March 2022. Boeing (NYSE: BA) and MT Aerospace AG, a subsidiary of OHB SE, have signed a further contract to supply structural components for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Boeing is the industrial prime contractor for the development and construction of this heavy-lift launch vehicle, whose first flight is scheduled for spring 2022. Boeing has now commissioned Augsburg-based MT Aerospace with the dome segments for the cryogenic hydrogen tank of the rocket's upper stage EUS (Exploration Upper Stage), thus expanding the existing cooperation between the companies. The EUS upper stage is intended for the exploration missions planned in NASA's Artemis programme. One of the goals of the Artemis programme is to create a sustainable presence on the moon.

MT Aerospace AG has been a qualified supplier and partner of Boeing for NASA's SLS since 2013 and was awarded the "Space Flight Awareness Award" in 2018 for the outstanding work on the heavy-lift launch vehicle. In July 2021, the two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will significantly diversify and expand MT Aerospace's supply activities for Boeing's Commercial, Defence and Space business units over the next few years. In addition to the production of structural components for the SLS, this also includes, for example, the design and manufacture of components for commercial satellites.

"MT Aerospace is an innovative member of the global aerospace industry. The expansion of this partnership reinforces our plan to further expand our cooperation with German industry in the long term, while supporting German economic growth through collaborations," said Dr Michael Haidinger, President of Boeing Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, Benelux and Northern Europe. "As a leading European location for aerospace, Bavaria is home to world-class engineering services. Partnering with Bavarian industry champions gives us access to talent, technology and cutting-edge research for all our global operations."

"With this further order for SLS, we are literally taking our partnership with Boeing to a higher level: We have been supplying essential components for the SLS core stage since 2013 and now our expertise is also being applied to the EUS upper stage, which will enable crewed exploration missions," says Hans Steininger, CEO of MT Aerospace AG. "In every SLS launch and every future moon landing, we will be on board with safety-critical structural components from Augsburg."

Dome segments from Augsburg for NASA's heavy-lift launch vehicle

MT Aerospace AG currently produces dome gore panels for the main stage of NASA's SLS. Tank systems represent a safety-critical element, which is why the highest quality standards apply to materials and manufacturing processes.

The Augsburg-based company is now also responsible for the holistic, high-precision 3D manufacturing process of the aluminium-lithium alloy dome segments for the cryogenic hydrogen tank of the EUS upper stage. The individual segments are joined in the USA to form the huge tank domes (diameter 8.40 m), which are then integrated into the launch vehicle.

The NASA Space Launch System is the most powerful launch vehicle ever built. It enables the transport of astronauts and cargo on NASA's Artemis missions to the moon and even as far as Mars. Some 3,800 suppliers in all 50 US states and across Europe contribute to the launch vehicle and the Orion spacecraft. Boeing is responsible for the cryogenic main stage of the launch vehicle, the upper stage and the avionics suite.

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