Saturday, October 11, 2008

Space Shuttle Flight Cabin Pressure Vessel Model

Here is a very rare scale model of the flight crew cabin pressure vessel for the space shuttle Columbia. This model shows where all of the welds are on the spacecraft, along with the dates (1974), when the model was built. This belonged to a gentleman who built all 5 of the space shuttles at the old NAA facility in Downey, Ca.
I've never seen anything like this model before and it was only used for a 3D reference when building the pressure vessel that comprised the crew cabin.

1 comment:

spaceflightengineer said...

The numbers are the drawing/part numbers, The "V" meaning "vehicle".

Let's be clear and accurate here- shuttle orbiters were not built at Downey, not ever. The Crew Modules were assembled at Downey as was the Aft, many subsystems parts (semi-rigid coax, conduits, electrical wire harnesses, bulkheads- as examples). Those "pieces" including the CM were sent to Palmdale Final Assembly and assembled into an orbiter. Many major components came from around the country.

FYI- when in the post-STS-51L accident days orbiter OV-105 (Endeavor) was to start assembly, the media incorrectly reported that the parts were all being made. Ummm, not exactly. The Orbiter Spares Program had most major components built and placed in storage on the available floor space in the main hanger/building at Palmdale. I know- my system testing of orbiter comm and tracking ("C&T") coaxes and other components were all checked out by yours truly, and it was the only time I was in the bare stringer areas, losing knee skin- I usually did this from outside the vehicle portions I had to crawl around for what would become OV-105. When I tested them, 51L had not occurred and the test results as well as the components would effectively be collecting dust. The CM did have to be built for 105 and ditto other portions. With the decision to build 105 as a replacement, the Orbiter Spares Program was kaput.

Former C&T (comm, Navaids) Test Engineer, Plmd Final Assembly, Rockwell Shuttle Orbiter Division, and Rocwell Launch Ops C&T/Lockheed C&T Launch Ops, C&T Systems Engineer, KSC.