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Boeing supports space shuttle Endeavour's final flight

Space Shuttle Endeavour (OV-105) being rolled out at the Palmdale, California facility on April 25, 1991. A Boeing photo.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLORIDA (BNS): NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour will lift off on its final mission Friday.

Boeing engineers and technicians are supporting the space shuttle final mission by helping to prepare the orbiter for its launch and leading the processing of the payload.

Mission STS-134 will carry the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 (AMS-02) and a large external platform called the Express Logistics Carrier 3 (ELC-3) to the International Space Station (ISS).

"The AMS is a hosted payload for which we provide the facility, infrastructure, ground support and procedures, and orchestrate all the testing for the ISS and the interface with the space shuttle," said Bob Hart, Boeing STS-134 Payload Flow manager.

Boeing is responsible for the coordination, planning, buildup, testing and checkout of the hardware installed on the ELC-3. ELC-3 arrived at Kennedy Space Center in December 2009 as a bare carrier. Boeing integrated spare parts onto the carrier from several companies and NASA centers.

Another Boeing contribution to this mission is the 0.5-inch protrusion installed on a special test tile under Endeavour's left wing. This protrusion will trip a boundary layer that flows around the orbiter as it re-enters the atmosphere in the Mach 19-20 range.

The tile protrusion causes turbulent airflow that will be measured by several sensors on and downstream of the protrusion. During this fifth and final tile test, Boeing and NASA engineers will gather data that will help design better heat shields for future spacecraft.

The STS-134 crew will transfer Endeavour’s 50-foot boom, used for inspecting the orbiter’s heat shield, to the ISS for indefinite storage on Boeing-provided hardware located on the Starboard 1 truss segment. The boom can be used with the station’s robotic arm to extend its reach to the solar arrays or other areas where repairs may be required.

Endeavour flew the first assembly mission to the ISS, STS-88 in 1998. STS-134 marks the final ISS assembly mission.


NASA  Endeavour  Boeing  

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