Spacelab Carrier Complement Thermal Design and Performance 921278
Spacelab mission thermal integration is one of many activities performed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The Spacelab carrier system has been expanded from the original module/pallet system. Thermodynamics and heat transfer as well as fluid mechanics and fluid dynamics are the support areas discussed here. This support incorporates preflight mission analysis in conjunction with real time mission support and postflight mission analysis. This paper summarizes these activities for the Spacelab carrier complement, citing some of the more challenging thermal control designs for which the Center is and has been responsible.
Technology advancements, coupled with the ever increasing needs of the payload community and the desire for flexibility to manifest several distinct payload elements on a single mission, has aided in the evolution of a more diverse Spacelab carrier complement. General performance capabilities and actual flight data for selected missions pertaining to the original module and module/pallet carrier configurations will be addressed. Expansion of the original pallet carrier system has led to the development of several unique carrier configurations with differing capabilities. Information pertaining to pallet derived carrier systems, such as the Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) pallet, the Enhanced MDM (EMP or OFT) Pallet, and the Spacelab Pallet System (SPS) Igloo pallet, will be presented as well as information on specific missions, both past and present, utilizing these carrier configurations. Finally, a carrier system, consisting of three separate configurations, developed from the Material Science Laboratory (MSL) carrier referred to as the Multipurpose Experiment Support Structure (MPESS) will be expounded. Furthermore, it should be noted that the Instrument Pointing System (IPS) and Igloo will not be discussed in this paper.
Discussions of the thermal control features, design schemes, verification testing and performance for the Spacelab carriers are the main thrust of this paper. Results achieved through analytical methods and ground testing, along with flight and postflight data available, will be presented. Passive and active thermal control schemes as they relate to Spacelab carriers are discussed.