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Lessons Learned: Mechanical Component and Tribology Activities in Support of Return to FlightThe February 2003 loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia resulted in NASA Management revisiting every critical system onboard this very complex, reusable space vehicle in a an effort to Return to Flight. Many months after the disaster, contact between NASA Johnson Space Center and NASA Glenn Research Center evolved into an in-depth assessment of the actuator drive systems for the Rudder Speed Brake and Body Flap Systems. The actuators are CRIT 1-1 systems that classifies them as failure of any of the actuators could result in loss of crew and vehicle. Upon further evaluation of these actuator systems and the resulting issues uncovered, several research activities were initiated, conducted, and reported to the NASA Space Shuttle Program Management. The papers contained in this document are the contributions of many researchers from NASA Glenn Research Center and Marshall Space Flight Center as part of a Lessons Learned on mechanical actuation systems as used in space applications. Many of the findings contained in this document were used as a basis to safely Return to Flight for the remaining Space Shuttle Fleet until their retirement.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Handschuh, Robert F.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Zaretsky, Erwin V.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
March 29, 2017
Publication Date
March 1, 2017
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 432938.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Mechanical Components
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