"NASA wanted our employees to hear firsthand how the products we make directly impact the safety of our NASA astronauts flying in space," said Peter Johnson, General Manager of the Space and Recovery Group. "Captain Wilmore's shuttle flight will be facilitated by straps manufactured at Airborne Systems in Santa Ana. The straps were added to Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motors (RSRM) following the Challenger disaster in 1986. These straps secure heaters to the joint regions of the RSRM, providing proper thermal conditions for launch.
Today's visit was supported by ATK Space Systems, the producer of the RSRM. It included a tour of the facility and a presentation by Captain Wilmore to all employees followed by a questions and answer period.
The space shuttle is scheduled to be retired in 2010 and will be replaced by a rocket / capsule design. The future NASA vehicle called Orion / ARES is being supported by both Airborne and ATK. The current space shuttle landing brake parachutes were also manufactured by Airborne Systems.
Alumno: Juan José Núñez Ceballos