Holding the promise of expanded opportunities for scientific research, two key new components of the International Space Station have arrived in Florida for flight processing by Boeing [NYSE: BA] under its contract with NASA.
The Node-2 module, built for the European Space Agency by Alenia Spazio in Italy, arrived yesterday by cargo plane at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. and was offloaded.
Over the weekend, the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) called "Kibo," or "Hope," arrived at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., by cargo ship.
This summer, Boeing NASA Systems will support the Node-2 and the JEM in a major integrated test with other ISS systems. Boeing works closely with NASA and its 16 international partners to ensure components are properly integrated.
The integrated test will verify that the JEM, Node-2 and US Lab (simulated) systems perform well together in their on-orbit configuration. Shortly after testing, both modules will be stored until the remainder of the pre-launch processing is completed in preparation for launch.
Developed for the National Space Development Agency of Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Kibo JEM is an experimental work area that weighs 32,000-pounds. It will become the largest pressurized module flown today, larger than the station's current laboratory, Destiny.
Critical to the continued expansion of the ISS, Node-2 will deliver data, electrical power, air, water and heating to new work areas of the station after its scheduled delivery. The module will connect the US laboratory Destiny, the European Columbus laboratory, the Centrifuge Accommodation Module, and the JEM. It will also be the attachment point for the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, the Japanese H II Transfer Vehicle and it will carry a docking adapter for the space shuttle.
The nodes are interconnecting elements for the laboratory and habitation modules. When completed, ISS will have three nodes. Node 1, called Unity, developed and manufactured by Boeing, was launched in December 1998. It connects the Russian Zarya module with the Destiny.
As prime contractor to NASA, Boeing NASA Systems has played a key role in design, development and operation of the ISS. In August 2002 Boeing continued its tradition of preparing NASA space flight payloads by winning the CAPPS contract having held the predecessor, the Payload Ground Operations Contract.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.