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Barbara Schwartz July 19, 1993

RELEASE: 93-058


Bernard Rosenbaum formerly of Johnstown and Somerset, Pennsylvania, is a member of a Johnson Space Center and Rockwell team of engineers to be the first at JSC to receive the NASA Flight Safety Award.

Rosenbaum currently is a senior Project Engineer in the Propulsion and Power Division of the Engineering Directorate.

During the pre-launch mating of the Endeavour orbiter to the external fuel tank in preparation for Space Shuttle mission STS-47, Rosenbaum and the engineering team determined that the mate of the tank oxygen umbilical was faulty and insisted that a conservative leak test be done to verify their concerns about the flight-worthiness of the joint. Tests confirmed that the connection was inadequate, and this led to the removal, repair and retesting of that joint for flight.

The award was presented by NASA Associate Administrator for Safety and Mission Quality Fred Gregory.

"To understand the critical value of what they did, consider that hardware failure at that one interface during or after launch could have resulted in catastrophic consequences for the crew and the shuttle," Gregory said. "This team chose to stand firm on what they knew and believed to be right, and in the process may have saved lives. This is teamwork at its finest."

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The NASA Flight Safety Award was created to recognize extraordinary contributions to space flight safety that help avoid catastrophic mishaps to the vehicle, crew, or mission. Administered NASA-wide through the Manned Flight Awareness Program, the intent is to impress the importance of crew safety on the minds of everyone involved with America's manned space flight program.

Rosenbaum graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1963 with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. After graduation, he began his tenure JSC in the propulsion group, working on the attitude control and orbital maneuvering systems on the Gemini Spacecraft. He later worked on the attitude control systems on the Apollo Command and Service modules and Lunar Landing vehicle.

From 1975 to 1982, Rosenbaum served in a lead role in the design, development, and certification of the Orbiter hydraulic system. His next assignment was as manufacturing manager for the Orbital Refueling System, a highly successful flight experiment designed and manufactured at JSC and flown on Space Shuttle mission STS-41G aboard Challenger in October 1984 to demonstrate the on-orbit reservicing of satellites with hydrazine fuel.

In 1985, Rosenbaum began examining design problems associated with the 17-inch disconnect valve. The 17-inch liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen disconnects provide the propellant feed interface from the external fuel tank to the orbiter main propulsion system, including the three space shuttle main engines. Inadvertent closure of either valve during space shuttle main engine thrusting would stop propellant flow, resulting in a catastrophe. The three main engines consume 1.6 tons of fuel per second for a total thrust of 1.5 million pounds. Rosenbaum received the National Space Club's 1989 Eagle Manned Mission Success Award in recognition of his effort.

Most recently, Rosenbaum played a key role in resolving a hydraulic pressure problem during the January flight of Endeavour.

Rosenbaum is married to the former Patricia Cohan, also of Johnstown.


NOTE: This release, a photograph, previous local articles are being sent to you in the mail. Bernard Rosenbaum will be visiting family in the Johnstown area beginning July 23. If your reporter would like follow-up information, you may reach him at 814-539-5581.

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