Kari Fluegel April 6, 1995
EXTERIOR OF SPACE STATION MODULE COMPLETED; FIRST IDR HELD
The exterior structure of the first United States pressurized module for the international Space Station has been completed, resulting in a major program milestone.
The module, called a node, is where the Space Shuttle will dock and serve as the connecting passageway for the Space Station's other modules where astronauts and
cosmonauts will live and work.
Another major program milestone completed recently was the first Incremental Design Review (IDR). Held at the Johnson Space Center, the IDR assures that the Space Station meets its specifications for successful flight, on-orbit assembly, operations, and science and technology research and development. The IDR concentrated on hardware being launched on the first six U.S. Shuttle flights as well as the first five Russian launches.
The successful review by NASA, its international partners and contractors "reassures us we will continue to meet our schedule and cost targets," said Space Station Director Wilbur Trafton. "We have set very ambitious goals and deadlines which we continue to meet."
Each aluminum module weighs about 5,000 pounds, is 18 feet long and 14 feet in diameter. A node consists of two bulkheads, or endcones; two cylinder sections; six docking ports; and three large ring frames.
The just completed structure is one of two connecting nodes being built for the Space Station. This first node
will be used as a structural test article for various pressure and leak tests. It will then be refurbished and
become Node 2 -- the second node to be launched to the international Space Station. Node 2 is scheduled to fly in
Node 1, the first node to be launched, is now being built in NASA's Space Station manufacturing building located at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL. Node 1 will be built using the data verified from tests with the structural test article. Node 1's exterior structure will be completed in late June and is scheduled to fly in
Both nodes are being built by Boeing Defense and Space Group, Huntsville. Boeing, prime contractor for the Space Station, will build the U.S. laboratory module where the astronauts will work and the habitat modules where they will eat and sleep. Construction of both the laboratory and habitation modules is now underway in the Space Station
Boeing also is building composite racks that hold experiments and operating systems inside the Space Station modules. Boeing will build 150 racks at a rate of five a month.
To date, Boeing has built over 26,000 pounds of hardware. By September 1995, Boeing will have built 40,800 pounds of hardware including the completion of 12 rack structures, seven hatches and welding of the laboratory module. By the end of this year, the laboratory module exterior structure also will be completed.
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