Space Shuttle Mission and the Use of Adaptors
The Space Shuttle Mission
The Space Shuttle Mission operated from 1981 until 2011, and in that time undertook 135 missions. During those 30 years five different shuttle craft were used and the most recent of them, Endeavour, was recently retired. The shuttles launched many satellites, the Hubble space telescope and various scientific probes during the thirty years of their mission. The Space Shuttle Mission also helped to construct and then took people and supplies to the International Space Station.
Endeavour flew the last Space Shuttle Mission to the International Space Station in May 2011. The mission returned to the Kennedy Space Station and from there completed a series of fly-pasts around the United States. The Shuttle is now at the California Science Centre in Los Angeles. The Space Shuttle Mission required a vast network of wiring, electronics and computing to support navigation, communication and positioning systems on the shuttles. The navigation systems used GPS to identify its position and speed. The communications systems used different types of radio transmissions to communicate with the ground. These systems were refined and improved over the thirty years that the mission operated.
A sixty foot antennae in new Mexico supported communication with the Shuttle and messages were sent via two systems: one on a high bandwidth called Ku-band for video and transfer of two way data files and another s-band system for voice, data and telemetry. A further UHF system was used for tasks involving spacewalking. These communications systems employed millions of specialized component parts, adapters and connectors which were rigorously tested to meet the standards required for a space mission. Many of the microwave parts supplied by Bracke Manufacturing such as attenuators, patch cords, DC blocks and phase trimmers can be used in complex communications systems like those needed for space exploration.