September 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 5 
Cover Story


No pause for ISS team

Workers on International Space Station program kept things humming, awaiting for shuttle's return

While the Space Shuttle team spent more than two years preparing for the Return to Flight, Boeing International Space Station workers were also busy.

"The on-orbit performance of the hardware has been superb," said John Elbon, vice president and ISS program manager. Boeing is the prime contractor for the ISS.

"We've shown the world we could continue to operate and conduct meaningful science on the ISS with only two astronauts. Our Russian partners kept the station supplied for us," Elbon said.

The ISS is about 50 percent complete and many ISS major components sit at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., waiting to be launched (see the July 2005 Boeing Frontiers). Some batteries in ISS components needed to be replaced, and additional testing was performed to ensure folded solar arrays would spring open once deployed on orbit.

Elbon added that station engineers used this down time to improve and update software code on the station and also made additional safety improvements by applying lessons from the Columbia accident.

"The Space Shuttle is essential to both ISS assembly and research. ISS components were originally designed for transport in the Shuttle payload bay," he added.

Steve Oswald, Boeing vice president and Space Shuttle program manager and a former astronaut, noted that besides the Russian Space Agency's Soyuz spacecraft, the Space Shuttle is the only means of getting people to and from the ISS.

"At least for now, the Space Shuttle provides unique capabilities to bring cargo down from the ISS to support both science and logistics," Oswald added.

NASA plans to retire its fleet of three Space Shuttle Orbiters once ISS assembly is complete around 2010.

—Ed Memi


Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.