Press Release

Raytheon Congratulates NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab on 10 Years of Training

By SpaceRef Editor
August 1, 2007
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Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC, a subsidiary of Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), is joining NASA Aug. 3 in celebrating 10 years of astronaut training at the Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston.

The NBL is an enormous 40-foot-deep tank with full-size space shuttle and space station mockups mounted in 6.2 million gallons of water. Allowing suited astronauts to train in near weightlessness, the pool helps simulate the space experience in preparation for missions.

For the last four years, Raytheon has been responsible for operating, maintaining and providing sustaining engineering and directly supporting astronaut training for the NBL and the Johnson Space Center’s Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility. The NBL and SVMF both provide training for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.

“We make sure astronauts are ready for space,” said Cindy Hendershot, program manager for RTSC’s Houston programs. “The pool is in constant operation, and we’re here to assure their mission success 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The Raytheon team supported NASA in preparing the NASA STS 114 crew for the Discovery shuttle’s historic “Return to Flight” space mission in 2005. The seven-person crew that piloted Discovery all trained at the NBL and the SVMF.

Raytheon also supports operations during space missions. When needed, personnel support exercises in both the NBL and the SVMF to provide data and assessments to planners and astronauts so they know what new techniques or procedures work to ensure successful space walks.

“We are proud to be a part of the NBL’s 10-year history and look forward to a long relationship in the future,” Hendershot said.

RTSC, a subsidiary of Raytheon Company, provides technology solutions for defense, federal and commercial customers worldwide. RTSC specializes in Mission Support, counter-proliferation and counter-terrorism, homeland security solutions, base and range operations and customized engineering and manufacturing.

Raytheon Company, with 2006 sales of $20.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 85 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.


Robert Koch
Office: 703.295.2535

SpaceRef staff editor.