Boeing Readies Kibo Lab Components for Shuttle Mission to Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., June 11, 2009 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] engineers and technicians recently completed several complex payload-processing tasks -- including preparing the final two science platforms for Japan's Kibo laboratory -- ahead of Space Shuttle Endeavour's upcoming mission to the International Space Station.

"I am proud of our role in getting this difficult payload ready for orbit," said former astronaut Brewster Shaw, vice president and general manager of Boeing's Space Exploration business unit, which holds NASA's prime contract for the International Space Station. "It was particularly rewarding to work with our Japanese partners on the last components of Kibo, which is such a source of pride to that nation. The new components will go far to expand the station’s research capabilities."

Boeing worked with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to prepare the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility and Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section for launch and to validate their compatibility with the space station. Mission STS-127's large, complex payload consumes all available power and electrical services, which presented a significant challenge to Boeing's Cargo Integration Team.

"This flight uses more payload power controls than any in program history," said Ed Klein, Boeing Cargo Integration Team manager. "For the first time in more than a decade, we're flying two switchable outlets in which the crew can turn power to the payloads on and off as needed. It required complex avionics design and analysis to ensure all the payload interfaces were wired correctly."

Endeavour is set to launch June 13 to the International Space Station, where astronauts will install JAXA's components to complete the Kibo laboratory. The new platforms provide a sort of "outdoor patio" for science experiments. Endeavour also will carry a variety of spare parts and six new batteries for the station’s power-generating solar arrays.

The STS-127 crew will conduct five spacewalks to install the two Kibo sections and to finish some work left over from the last shuttle mission to the station. During the course of two of these spacewalks, the crew also will install the new batteries on the station's Port 6 solar array. The six batteries weigh a total of 2,204 pounds and have a design life of approximately six and a half years. Other critical spare parts that Boeing has provided for the station will be stored on an external platform on the Port 3 truss.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

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Wendy Locklear
Boeing Space Exploration

Susan Wells
Boeing Space Exploration