Late last year, the largest fuel tank ever built was loaded onto a barge for a 1,200-mi. (1,930-km) journey on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, arriving in Huntsville, Alabama, in the midst of a government shutdown. Working at night when winds abate, the 149-ft.-tall, 27.5-ft.-dia. tank, built by Boeing, was hoisted into a new test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where it will soon experience 3 million lb. of crushing force.  The liquid hydrogen tank, ...

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