FLIGHT SEQUENCE...

SPACELAB

SPACELAB

On Sept. 24, 1973, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the European Space Agency, formerly known as the European Space Research Organization, and NASA with NASA's George C. Marshall Space Flight Center as lead center for ESA to design and develop Spacelab.

Spacelab is developed on a modular basis and can be varied to meet specific mission requirements. Its four principal components are the pressurized module, which contains a laboratory with a shirt-sleeve working environment; one or more open pallets that expose materials and equipment to space; a tunnel to gain access to the module; and an instrument pointing subsystem. Spacelab is not deployed free of the orbiter.

ESA had 11 member nations at the time of Spacelab development: Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and West Germany. All except Sweden participated in the Spacelab program.

An industrial consortium headed by ERNO-VFW Fokker (Zentralgesellschoft VFW-Fokker mbh) was named by ESA in June 1974 to build the pressurized modules. Five 10-foot-long, unpressurized, U-shaped pallet segments were built by the British Aerospace Corporation under contract to ERNO-VFW Fokker. The IPS is built by Dornier.

NASA astronauts called mission specialists, as well as non-career astronauts called payload specialists, fly aboard Spacelab to operate experiments. Payload specialists are nominated by the scientists sponsoring the experiments aboard Spacelab. They are accepted, trained and certified for flight by NASA. Their training includes familiarization with experiments and payloads as well as information and procedures to fly aboard the space shuttle. From one to four payload specialists can be accommodated for a Spacelab flight. These specialists ride into space and return to Earth in the orbiter crew compartment cabin, but they work with Spacelab on orbit. Because Spacelab missions, once on orbit, may operate on a 24-hour basis, the flight crew is usually divided into two teams.

PRESSURIZED MODULE, OR LABORATORY

INSTRUMENT POINTING SUBSYSTEM

PALLET ONLY

ELECTRICAL POWER

COMMAND AND DATA MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

MASS MEMORY UNIT

DATA DISPLAY SYSTEMS

CLOSED-CIRCUIT TELEVISION

PRESSURIZED MODULE INTERCOM

PRESSURIZED MODULE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SUBSYSTEM AND LIFE SUPPORT

PRESSURIZED MODULE/TUNNEL AIR LOOP

PRESSURIZED MODULE ACTIVE THERMAL CONTROL SUBSYSTEM

PRESSURIZED MODULE CAUTION AND WARNING

PRESSURIZED MODULE EMERGENCY CONDITIONS

PALLET-ONLY ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SUBSYSTEM

GETAWAY SPECIAL PROGRAM

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