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Frontiers March 2013 Issue

DIDYOUKNOW • One-fourth of the approximately 290 commercial satellites in orbit worldwide were built at Boeing’s El Segundo, Calif., site. • The satellite factory—part of which was built in 1948 as an American Motors Corp. factory to produce Nash Rambler cars—covers 1 million square feet (93,000 square meters), or just more than 22 U.S. football fields. It is the world’s single-largest satellite factory. • The factory’s high bay, the 60-foot-high (18-meter-high) area where satellites go through testing and final assembly work, is 1,000 times cleaner than a typical household interior. The environment is strictly controlled 24 hours a day, every day of the year. • Boeing satellites typically weigh about 6,500 pounds (3,000 kilograms) in orbit, about the same weight as a Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle. • The “wingspan” of a Boeing 702 satellite’s solar array, when fully unfolded, extends 135 feet (41 meters), or 10 feet (3 meters) longer than the wingspan of a 757 jetliner. • The exterior of a satellite in orbit can exceed 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 Celsius) when in the sunlight. In the shadow of Earth, the satellite’s surfaces can plummet to 200 degree below zero Fahrenheit (-129 Celsius). PHOTOS: (Below) Integration and test employees deploy and inspect a solar-power array on a 702 satellite. (Insets, from top) Bobby Dorsey monitors placement of electronic parts; Gregory Thomke, left, and James Colln assemble a payload panel module; Angela Mather inspects a wire harness. BOB FERGUSON/BOEING BOEING FRONTIERS / MARCH 2013 21


Frontiers March 2013 Issue
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