Gravity-Free Assembly

by wjw on March 29, 2010

Courtesy of USA Today, an animation showing the decade-long assembly of the International Space Station.

[via Gardner]

Lance Larka March 30, 2010 at 3:46 am

I watched the animation several times and saw something…odd. Maybe. You tell me.

Throughout that assembly process I saw several components arrive and during subsequent missions move to new locations.

I run a production lab and specialize in process automation. Anytime I see a sample (component in this case) being touched by my staff multiple times I always ask why.


Urban March 30, 2010 at 5:10 am

What's moved around are the Pressurised Mating Adapters. Think of them as endcaps with one internal and one external side.

Lance Larka March 31, 2010 at 2:18 am

No, I was looking at a couple of trusses and the arm that were moved around.

halojones-fan April 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Part of it's a mass-balance issue; you don't want the thing to be unbalanced.

Another part is access; e.g. once you install Component B, you no longer have room to dock the Space Shuttle there, so you have to move the Docking Port Unit.

And the arm is actually designed to move around.

Barry April 6, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Thanks for posting this. It's easy to forget about what's happening, when there aren't disasters.

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