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BOEING COMPLETES KEY DESIGN MILESTONE FOR SPACE STATION

 BOEING COMPLETES KEY DESIGN MILESTONE FOR SPACE STATION
 HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing Defense & Space Group has completed the initial design phase for work on Space Station Freedom, and received authorization today to proceed with final hardware design from NASA, NASA's international partners, and representatives from other station work packages.
 The authorizing certificate was signed as NASA and Boeing completed a major design review in Huntsville.
 The design review is a key milestone because Boeing now will begin work on final engineering drawings, and will initiate developmental and qualification tests leading to launch of the first pressurized module -- a node -- in late 1996.
 Tests already are underway at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville on about 10 major pieces of hardware. Results of this hardware-test phase will be used to complete final design for the space station by early 1993.
 Boeing is NASA's prime contractor to build the heart of the space station: its laboratory, living and logistics modules, connecting node structures and on-board systems.
 "Space Station Freedom is closer every day to reality," said Richard Grant, Boeing program manager. "The international orbiting laboratory has turned the corner from a strictly engineering program to a hardware program with tests underway."
 In Freedom's man-tended phase, which begins in 1996, astronauts will visit regularly to tend experiments in the unique microgravity environment of low-Earth orbit. A crew of four will live there permanently by 1999, and over the next 30 years scientists will conduct life- and materials-science experiments.
 "Boeing and Marshall have made substantial progress during 1991, also completing facilities and equipment for future hardware development," said George Hopson, NASA's project manager for Marshall's work package. "The work has remained on schedule and within budget.
 "This progress has been made possible through the close working relationship of the Marshall, Boeing and subcontractor team," Hopson said.
 The coming year will have an aggressive hardware testing regimen that verifies the fundamental structural design of the space station's pressurized modules, nodes, hatches, windows and racks.
 "The thorough design and testing effort we've embarked on will ensure Space Station Freedom is a safe, highly operational facility to serve this nation and its international partners for decades to come," Grant said.
 Boeing employs about 2,000 people on the program.
 -0- 12/17/91
 /CONTACT: Brian Ames or Peri Widener of Boeing Alabama, 205-461-2805/ CO: Boeing Alabama ST: Alabama IN: ARO SU:


BN-BR -- AT014 -- 3115 12/17/91 16:33 EST
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Date:Dec 17, 1991
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