July 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 3 
Integrated Defense Systems

Waiting for the green light

Florida team caring for ready-for-delivery ISS parts


Waiting for the green lightImagine you're the proud owner of a new Corvette. Naturally, the first thing you want to do is take that baby out for a spin. Only problem is, the wheels are missing. What are you supposed to do with a Corvette with no wheels?

That's essentially the same question Boeing's Florida Operations employees working at the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF) faced. After the Space Shuttle program was put on hold after the Space Shuttle Columbia accident, awaiting the return to flight feels as if someone had taken the wheels off of their expensive new car.

For almost three years, the SSPF has functioned as a jam-packed garage for the remaining International Space Station (ISS) elements while waiting for the Space Shuttle to return to flight.

During that time, the Boeing team has been caring for the flight hardware, anticipating the day the components will take their place in space and join the other parts of the ISS.

"The ISS is an amazing machine, and the goal of assembly completion is being achieved by the immense efforts of the Boeing team," said Jim Chilton, Boeing vice president and program manager for Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services.

That kind of confidence is apparent throughout the SSPF. The team can't wait to "put the wheels back on" this Corvette and get back on the road toward space exploration.

"There is not a more rewarding feeling than seeing something you've poured all your time into finally be displayed in orbit," said Matt Fields, Boeing electrical power system truss test engineer. "It gives you a great sense of pride and accomplishment."


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