Press Release

Marshall plays a significant role in the building of the Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2001
Filed under , ,

Art Stephenson, director of the Marshall Space Flight Center, wrote the
enclosed message to Marshall Center employees, which appeared in the latest
issue of our employee newspaper, the “Marshall Star.” It highlights the work
by Marshall’s civil servants and contractor employees in design, building
and operation of the International Space Station. We hope you will use this
in sharing with your readers, listeners or viewers the contributions
Marshall and Huntsville are making to our nation’s Space Station program.

Marshall Media Relations

Director’s Corner

With the recent landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis, the International Space
Station development effort completed the second of three designated phases.
ISS Phase II consisted of the successful assembly of U.S. and Russian
components, and the installation of the U.S. Airlock.

I want you to know that I am extremely proud to say that the Marshall team,
consisting of civil servants and contractor partners, was instrumental in
this giant step of sustaining an international research presence in space.

Our team participated in the design, fabrication, integration and testing of
all of the U.S. modules and racks, including system and control software,
that are now orbiting: Unity – the Node; Destiny -the U.S. Lab; and Quest –
the Airlock. We were instrumental in the design, fabrication and acceptance
of the three Multi-Purpose Logistic Modules – Leonardo, Raffaello, and
Donatello – that were built by the Italian Space Agency (ASI). We also
designed, qualified and assembled the common berthing mechanism (CBM) and
the common hatches. As well, we were responsible for the design,
development, fabrication and integration of the Expediting the Process of
Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) racks that are in Destiny.

Our outstanding team provided structural, dynamic and thermal testing of
practically every element of the ISS. This testing occurred not only on all
of the modules, but also on the trusses. We kept the crew safe by performing
standard material tests, such as flammability and toxicity. We also
performed non-standard testing for atomic oxygen, UV and particulate
radiation, and plasma interactions. We designed and built special test
equipment and tooling to support these tests. Electromagnetic compatibility
and interference testing and analyses were performed for most of the
elements, as well.

We provided a multitude of assessments, including: electrical power usage,
mass properties, crew compatibility, meteoroid and orbital debris
survivability, and solar activity. Simulations for the CBM operations have
provided numerous crews with valuable opportunities to push the CBM to its
limits. Configuration and data management systems enabled the successful
development of hardware.

The Marshall team was responsible for the development and integration of the
unpressurized logistic carrier missions that delivered Pressurized Mating
Adapter 3 and the Space Station Remote Manipulator System. We also provided
a portable crew fan, a cabin atmosphere sampling adapter, a hand-held
temperature and air flow velocity measuring device, and the Flight
Releasable Attachment Mechanism.

Our efforts don’t stop with the delivery of the hardware to orbit. The
Huntsville Operations Support Center’s ISS Payload Operations Center with
its core infrastructure of Information Technology and communication systems
has been supporting payload operations 24×7, since February 2001. More than
15,000 commands have been sent from the POC to payloads and their support
systems. We even have the capability to send commands by remote payload
developers. We have a dedicated team that performs hardware moves of these
oversized elements. They are supported by Missile Command, meteorological
and local road crews. High Definition Television coverage has been provided,
too.

Our team also contributed by using this truly world-class research facility.
We sponsored 10 payloads that have flown during the International Space
Station Phase II period. Scientific and commercial investigations and
experiments were conducted in the disciplines of materials, biotechnology,
fluid physics and microgravity environmental characteristics. These payloads
helped initiate the research capability of the ISS and provided valuable
information on ISS research accommodations, payload operations and the ISS
environment.

We should all take pride in this great accomplishment. It is not just a
milestone; it is a significant historical event. The J-Track Web site,
accessible from the Marshall Center Newsroom –
http://www1.msfc.nasa.gov/NEWSROOM/# – shows where the Station is and when
it will be visible to us. Point out the Station to family and friends as it
passes overhead, and tell them how it is one of the most ambitious projects
ever undertaken by man. then tell them how proud you are to be a part of the
Marshall team in Huntsville that helped make it a reality.

SpaceRef staff editor.