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FIRST SPACE STATION FLIGHT HARDWARE TO FLY ON SPACE SHUTTLE

 FIRST SPACE STATION FLIGHT HARDWARE TO FLY ON SPACE SHUTTLE
 HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 23 /PRNewswire/-- The first flight hardware scheduled for use aboard Space Station Freedom -- crew restraints -- will be flown and tested aboard the space shuttle Columbia set for launch on June 25.
 The crew restraints will be used aboard the space station to keep astronauts anchored while working in the weightless conditions of space.
 The restraints were developed for NASA by Boeing Defense & Space Group, space station work package one prime contractor, and Grumman, a subcontractor.
 Space Station Freedom will be a research laboratory permanently orbiting the Earth. The first element launch is scheduled for late 1995.
 One of the restraints was developed for use on the glovebox/microscope rack to support the astronauts while performing tasks. The other foot restraint will be used to support crew operation of the crystal growth experiment oven. Both were designed to allow the crew to easily perform payload and workstation activities, and to work throughout the space station module interior. The restraints provide vertical, horizontal and rotational adjustments to position crew members in the best zero-gravity working position.
 The idea of using the restraints on the mission began last July when Dr. Bonnie Dunbar, NASA shuttle astronaut, expressed interest in using the restraint hardware being designed for the space station. Boeing and Grumman engineers, working closely with Charlie Sprinkle, Marshall Space Flight Center's USML-1 Mission Manager, immediately began the process of designing the space station restraints with Spacelab interfaces. While Grumman engineers did the design, Boeing engineers served as the project and technical management group.
 "The foot restraints used on the mission are a prime example of the cooperation needed to pull flight hardware from the development program to the operational program," Robert Springer, Space Station Project Element Manager, said. Before joining Boeing, Springer was a veteran astronaut and flew two shuttle missions. "In addition, the process is very cost effective," Springer said. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville and Johnson Space Center in Houston were also very helpful in the restraints testing and coordination with the shuttle crew.
 Prototype restraints were first tested aboard NASA's KC-135 zero- gravity aircraft. Boeing and Grumman engineers then worked on the restraints definition, manufacturing and qualification vibration testing. Initially the restraints were checked for fit and evaluated by the shuttle crew at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
 "It's important to remember that this is development hardware," Bert Jones, Boeing's Manned Systems Hardware Manager, said. "Based on their performance, changes could be made. We will definitely learn from their use on this mission."
 -0- 6/23/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Keller of Boeing Defense & Space Group, 205-461-3597, or Kathleen Housley of Grumman, 516-575-4938/ CO: Boeing Defense & Space Group; Grumman ST: Alabama IN: ARO SU:


BN-EA -- AT007 -- 2734 06/23/92 09:52 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 23, 1992
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