Brazil and Boeing continue logistics and engineering work for International Space Station
The Boeing Company recently signed a contract change with the National Institute of Space Research (INPE), the executing agency of the Brazilian Government for space-related activities. In the contract Boeing will provide preliminary design of the EXPRESS (EXpedite the Process of Experiments to Space Station) Pallet System, a key external payload experiment facility and logistics re-supply carrier, and ongoing engineering support for other Brazilian International Space Station (ISS) commitments.
"We are honored that INPE selected Boeing as the sole source contractor to support its program management and Brazil's contribution to ISS," said Dr. Joe Mills, Boeing ISS deputy program manager.
In earlier study contracts, Boeing provided recommendations to INPE for the organizational infrastructure of the Brazilian portion of ISS, identified ISS programs that would meet Brazil's science and technology objectives and defined specific ISS contributions for Brazil. Under the current contract Boeing will provide system design, engineering and integration support for development of the defined hardware elements.
"We are very happy for the opportunity to work with Boeing," said Marcio Barbosa, INPE director. "This contract demonstrates our commitment in working together and the commitment from our country to NASA's International Space Station."
The contract period of performance continues through October 2000, at which time an EXPRESS Pallet System Preliminary Design Review will be conducted. The firm-fixed price contract is valued at $9.9 million. The work is being performed in Houston and Huntsville, Ala.
"The Brazilian contribution, the EXPRESS Pallet System, is a unique and integral part of this world-class facility," said Mills. "We are proud to do business with Brazil and to advance our shared vision toward development of global space station utilization."
In August 1997, INPE and Boeing signed a contract to conduct a detailed study related to the active participation of Brazilian industry in the design, construction and operation of key ISS elements.
In October 1997, an implementing arrangement was signed between the governments of Brazil and the United States whereby Brazil accepted the responsibility of producing key ISS components. The bilateral cooperative program covered detailed design, development and operation of key elements of ISS to NASA as part of NASA's contribution in exchange for rights to utilize the Station.
The first of these elements is the EXPRESS Pallet System, a critical external experiment payload facility and logistics re-supply carrier, scheduled to become part of ISS in late 2003. Future Brazilian elements may include a newly designed Unpressurized Logistics Carrier and the Technology Experiment Facility.
ISS is the largest international space venture ever undertaken, and a historic joint effort of 16 countries.
Boeing is NASA's prime contractor to design, develop, manufacture and assemble the International Space Station. ISS is now orbiting overhead -- visible from Earth in the night sky. The first two modules, Zarya and Unity, were launched and assembled in orbit in late 1998. When fully assembled in 2004, it will house a crew of seven -- working in 46,000 cubic feet of pressured volume spread across six laboratories, two habitation modules, and two logistics modules.
The next scheduled ISS assembly launch is Zvezda, the Russian Service Module, aboard a Russian Proton rocket. Zvezda is currently at Baikonur undergoing pre-launch test and check-out. The first astronaut crew, Expedition One, will be brought to ISS later this year for their three-month stay. The U.S. Laboratory will be launched aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in the final quarter of this year.