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Boeing Frontiers
April 2004
Volume 02, Issue 11
Boeing Frontiers
Integrated Defense Systems

Stocking the ISS

Resupply and Return Team prepares cargo for launch on Space Shuttle Discovery


Members of the Boeing IDS Resupply and Return TeamBoeing Integrated Defense Systems employees at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are busy preparing cargo carriers for the Space Shuttle Discovery, now scheduled for launch in March 2005.

"Our Resupply and Return Team is working hard to ensure this hardware is ready," said Jim Chilton, Boeing IDS program manager of Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services. "We can't forget that NASA is counting on us. Our efforts will enable the customer to focus on the station research objectives and to support exploration goals for the future."

The Discovery mission, designated STS-114 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, will mark the space shuttle's return to flight since the loss of Columbia on Feb. 1, 2003. It will be the first of two missions to resupply the International Space Station with essential equipment and supplies, and return experiments and used supplies to Earth.

The process of stocking the space shuttle is much like packing a suitcase in an incredibly tight configuration. Everything must fit perfectly and go in the right place to prevent shifting at liftoff.

Inside Discovery's payload bay will be the station's main cargo carrier, the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, and two other carriers, the External Stowage Platform and the Lightweight Multi-Purpose Carrier. They will bring to the station experiments, critical Orbital Replacement Units and, for the first time, equipment mandated by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board to allow astronauts to demonstrate on-orbit repair capabilities for future missions.

Volunteers help students design Mars settlement

Volunteers help students design Mars settlementA group of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems volunteers and several high school "space explorers" recently gathered in Houston to see what life might be like on Mars. Student teams from Texas and Iowa participated in an industry simulation game set in the 21st century. The students acted as members of aerospace company teams that were developing a design and operations proposal for a new Mars base. Professionals from the aerospace industry volunteered as judges, student trainers and student-team CEOs. IDS' Jack Gafford (third from left) points out data to students in the competition as fellow Boeing volunteers Katherine Langland (left) and Brian Goetsch serve as Structural Engineering Concepts student trainers. "It's amazing to see how all of these students go about tackling the problems of designing a Mars settlement in 24 hours," Gafford said. "I have no doubt we will see these young men and women working to send people to Mars."














The MPLM fits snugly inside the space shuttle cargo bay. It usually carries food, water, clothing, personal items, spare parts and supplies for the astronauts, as well as space station experiments. The astronauts use the station's robotic arm to remove the module from the space shuttle and attach it to the station. There, it becomes part of the station and provides a habitable environment for the crew to perform cargo transfer operations. For the descent to Earth, the crew stows used items and completed experiments in the MPLM.

The MPLM is a joint venture between NASA and the Italian Space Agency. The Italian Space Agency's prime contractor, Alenia Spazio, built three MPLMs--dubbed Leonardo, Rafaello and Donnatello--for three separate space shuttle missions.

Bill Wills, assembly manager for Resupply and Return, said: "Seeing the hardware being packed up to fly and the modules readied for return to flight will be the greatest reward."


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