February 23 - Barnhart Crane & Rigging has been chosen by the USA's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide transportation of a mock-up of the core stage of the agency's rocket for deep space missions, the Space Launch System (SLS)

Designed by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre in Alabama, USA, the simulated core stage of the rocket will measure 213 ft (64.9 m) in length and weigh 230,000 lbs (104.3 tonnes).

Memphis-based Barnhart will transport the mock-up from its final assembly point at the G&G Steel plant in Alaska, to NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, USA.

According to Jeff Latture, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Barnhart, an overhead crane will be used at G&G to load the core stage onto a 200 ft x 35 ft (60.9 m x 10.6 m) Barnhart deck barge that will be utilised in conjunction with a 250 ft x 50 ft (76.2 m x 15.2 m) deck barge. Barnhart will use Goldhofer transporters to offload the component at Michoud.

The inaugural flight of the SLS is anticipated in late 2018.