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Press Release 95-29

[Note: For more information, visit the Mir Cooperative Solar Array Program page.]

Lori J. Rachul
(Bus: 216/433-8806)


CLEVELAND, OH -- When the Mir Cooperative Solar Array reached its destination--NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC)--from Russia on June 7, 1995, NASA's Lewis Research Center leadership in space power was combined with Russian technology representing one more milestone towards building a world-class international research facility in space.

"The Cooperative Solar Array's arrival at KSC is the product of the highly successful working relationship among Lewis team members, the U.S. contractors and our Russian partners," said Dr. Thomas Labus, chief of Lewis' Power Systems Office. "This array will be used to extend Mir's lifetime and support U.S. science and technology research."

Over the next few months, the Russian/U.S. Cooperative Solar Array and an all-Russian array will be mounted on a Russian-built Docking Module. Following completion of this process, the Docking Module will be installed on Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-74) for launch to Mir in October 1995 to support joint Shuttle/Mir space flights.

NASA and Russia's Space Agency cooperated on the joint array, which is part of Phase 1 of the International Space Station program. The new advanced array, known as the Mir Cooperative Solar Array, combines Russian flight proven structures and mechanisms developed by Rocket Space Corporation (RSC)-Energia with American solar array modules developed by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Corporation to increase the available user electrical power on the Mir station.

The Mir Cooperative Solar Array team is structured as an Integrated Product Team (IPT) consisting of NASA's Lewis Research Center; Rockwell International's Rocketdyne Division, Canoga Park, Calif.; Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Corporation, Sunnyvale, Calif.; and RSC-Energia, Kaliningrad. The IPT concept, which is being incorporated throughout the space station program, provides the necessary communications, flexibility and buy-in of all the team members and is critical to producing flight hardware in a reduced amount of time for lower cost. The Cooperative Solar Array project followed an aggressive timeline--less than two years from inception to deployment of the jointly produced array--making it one of the first pieces of hardware to be launched in the International Space Station program.

U.S. team members have worked closely with Russian engineers during the fast-paced qualification testing in Russia. This series of joint Shuttle/Mir space missions will allow the United States to perform longer duration space experiments and verify station hardware concepts.

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