The International Space
Station’s robotic arm gets added reach when space shuttle Endeavour
delivers the Mobile Base System (MBS) to the orbital outpost later
this month.

Boeing [NYSE: BA], through its Human Space Flight & Exploration unit,
is NASA’s prime contractor for the International Space Station and
responsible for design, operation, integration and assembly of the
orbital outpost. The company is also responsible for integrating items
such as the MBS, built by MD robotics of Canada, with the space
station. Integration includes assembling, testing and verifying that
different systems are compatible and can work together in space.

The MBS allows the space station’s robotic arm to aid in space station
construction by riding on the truss system’s railcar or Mobile
Transporter System (MTS). The MBS also has provisions for storing
tools and construction materials along with being a work platform for

"Boeing makes sure everything works well together as a system on the
space station, no matter who builds the component or sub-system," said
Juan L. Carreras, Boeing Mobile Transporter System manager. "The
Mobile Base System is a great example of the international partnership
between the United States and Canada."

Astronauts will make three spacewalks during Endeavour’s mission to
install and test the MBS. The space station crew will then move the
station’s arm to the MBS before the arrival of space shuttle Atlantis
in August. The space station arm is required for the installation of
the Boeing-built S1 (starboard one) truss segment that will be
attached during Atlantis’ mission. The arm will also be needed for
subsequent missions to install truss segments and to perform
maintenance and resupply tasks.

The MBS is the work platform of the Mobile Servicing System (MSS),
which also consists of the MTS and the space station’s robotic arm.
The MBS has four grapple fixtures and two attach systems where
payloads are carried. The station arm is designed to grapple and
perform robotic operations from any of the MBS grapple fixtures.

MD Robotics, a MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates subsidiary, wrote
the software and built the MBS in Brampton, Ontario. Initial testing
and integration with the MTS also took place in Brampton. The MBS
arrived at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., during summer 2000 for further
integration work and processing for space flight by Boeing.

Mobile Base System

Weight: 3196.7 lbs. (1,450 kg.)

Dimensions: 18.7 feet by 14.7 feet by 9.5 feet (5.7 m by 4.5 m by 2.9

Mass handling capability: 46,077 lbs. (20,900 kg)

Construction: Primarily aluminum

Boeing Space and Communications (S&C), headquartered in Seal Beach,
Calif., is the world’s largest space and communications company. A
unit of The Boeing Company, S&C provides integrated solutions in
launch services, human space flight and exploration, missile defense,
and information and communications. It is NASA’s largest contractor; a
leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems
integrator for U.S. missile defense; and a leading provider of
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The global enterprise
has customers worldwide and manufacturing operations throughout the
United States and Australia.

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