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August 28, 1996

Doug Ward
Johnson Space Center

Jim Keller
Boeing Public Relations
Huntsville, Alabama

Release: 96-027

Space Station Node 1 and Laboratory Modules Successfully Complete Proof Pressure Tests

The first U.S. component of the International Space Station, Node 1, and the U.S. laboratory module have successfully completed proof pressure tests.

Today, Boeing engineers conducted a proof pressure test on Node 1 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. During the four hour test, the node was successfully pressurized to 22.8 pounds per square inch gauge (PSIG), or 1.5 times the normal maximum operating pressure of the International Space Station pressurized elements. A structural design modification that has been incorporated into the node substantially reduced the stress levels previously encountered in the radial port low wall gussets.

Node 1, the first U.S. space station component is scheduled to be launched in December 1997. The nodes serve as connecting passageways to other modules on the International Space Station. With the proof pressure test now completed on Node 1, it will be moved out of the test facility and returned to the Space Station manufacturing building at MSFC where it will be prepared for assembly and check-out activities that begin in mid-October.

This past Sunday, Aug. 25, the U.S. laboratory module also successfully completed its proof pressure test. Like the Node 1, the lab module also was pressurized to 22.8 PSIG, or one and a half times it's normal maximum operating pressure requirement on-orbit. Data analysis indicated the module had excellent performance during the pressure test.

Having completed it's proof pressure test, the lab welds now are being inspected. The lab will undergo leak tests in mid-September. It will then be moved back to the Space Station manufacturing building in late September.


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