Text Size

Cooling a Hot Situation
When Ted Moore was a child, he wanted to be an astronaut. Instead, today he's a lead engineer in the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) division of the Space Shuttle Processing program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Ted Moore, ECLSS engineer "If I'm not flying in one, I guess you could say it's the next best thing to be able to work on the Space Shuttles," said Moore.

Image left: Ted Moore, a Florida native, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida and a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He's worked in ECLSS for 15 years. Image credit: NASA/KSC

Recently, Moore and the ECLSS team completed work on a Freon coolant loop flow problem in Discovery during Return to Flight processing. Freon coolant loop lines are located in the rear and midbody of each orbiter. The cooling stainless-steel lines provide a way to take heat away from the vehicles' avionics systems.

The ECLSS team inspected and tested the lines and found a restriction in one of them. They took Freon samples and X-rays of the line to determine the exact location of the blockage.

Moore's group also used sensors to monitor how temperatures responded during a five-hour period immediately following orbiter power up. Data collected during Discovery's flow tests were then compared with Atlantis' flow-test data and data predicted by the design engineers.

Eventually, more than 100 feet of Freon coolant loop lines, filters, flow-rate sensors, flow restrictors and some of the cold plates were replaced in an effort to eliminate the clog.

Technician lowers himself into an Orbiter ECLSS bay "It was a team effort involving our NASA, United Space Alliance and Boeing workers here, in Houston and in Huntington Beach, Calif., to develop the testing rationale to analyze and address all of the issues that caused the flow degradation," said Moore. "It's important to make sure that we're doing a safe and thorough job on all the hardware within these fluid systems."

Image right: In the Orbiter Processing Facility, a technician gets ready to lower himself through a door into the ECLSS bay under the middeck floor. Image credit: NASA/KSC

Moore came to Kennedy Space Center in 1988 after working in research and development on the Space Defense Initiative in the U.S. Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Moore is embracing Discovery's Return to Flight mission with open arms. "It's been a long road. This extended downtime for requirements and certification reassessment has been an opportunity for us to excel," Moore said." I think we're better and smarter now than before the accident."

For additional information on the ECLSS system: + ECLSS Fact Sheet

How does the Environmental Control and Life Support System work on board the Orbiter?
+ View Video

Linda Herridge and Elaine Marconi
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center