Space Shuttle prime contractor United
Space Alliance (USA) has announced that Boeing and Honeywell Space Systems are
recipients of the prestigious USA Space Achievement Award for the outstanding
performance of the Multifunction Electronic Display Subsystem (MEDS) during
the recent Space Shuttle Atlantis mission, STS-101.

USA’s Space Achievement Award is given to those groups or individuals who
make outstanding contributions to the success of human space exploration.
performance of the “glass cockpit,” the latest safety upgrade to the Space
Shuttle fleet, was an outstanding success on the recent mission to the
International Space Station, according to USA Program Manager Howard DeCastro.

“Post flight analysis shows that the new display system performed almost
flawlessly throughout the 10-day flight,” said DeCastro.
“The system ran
smoothly as advertised, providing critical data to the flight crew during
launch, on orbit and landing operations.
I congratulate the Boeing and
Honeywell engineering teams that designed, manufactured and installed the
hardware, and had it ready to fly.”

“The glass cockpit definitely provided a greater sense of awareness for
the crew,” remarked Atlantis crew commander Jim Halsell, following the
successful first flight.
Atlantis is the first of the four Shuttle Orbiters
to be equipped with the new system, which features state of the art active
matrix flat panel display technology.

The MEDS was designed and built by Honeywell Space Systems of Phoenix,
Arizona, under subcontract with Boeing Reusable Space Systems, USA’s
subcontractor for Space Shuttle Orbiter production, modifications, system and
payload integration, and operations.
It was installed and tested during
Orbiter Maintenance and Modification (OMM) operations by Boeing at their
Palmdale, California, plant in 1998.

MEDS features 11 new full-color, flat panel display screens that replace
32 gauges and electronic displays and four cathode ray tubes that were 1960’s
vintage hardware.
The new “glass cockpit” is 75 pounds lighter and uses less
power than before, and its color displays provide easier pilot recognition of
key Orbiter performance functions.

The MEDS provides critical flight parameters, particularly during the
launch, rendezvous and docking and landing phases, as well as in any
contingency situation that might arise.

The system will be installed in all Shuttles by 2002.
The Space Shuttle
Orbiter Columbia is currently being equipped with MEDS during its scheduled
OMM at Palmdale.