The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


Hamilton Sundstrand equipment to activate permanent power system on the International Space Station

Windsor Locks, USA- North America, Connecticut, Dec 10, 2006

The Space Shuttle Discovery Saturday night carried a collection of new electrical and structural hardware developed and built by Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. [NYSE:UTX]. This was the second consecutive launch to expand the electrical power system on board the International Space Station (ISS).

During this mission, the ISS will reconfigure its power panels and activate its permanent electrical power system for the first time since it was placed in orbit in 1998. To date, the station has been operating on a temporary power system.

When the reconfiguration is complete, the ISS will have more than 31 kW of electrical power for use on an expanded list of important research and experiments.

The new Hamilton Sundstrand hardware being installed on this mission consists of the P5 truss, a one-ton assembly of struts and connectors that will extend outboard from the existing P4 power module added to the ISS during the last shuttle mission. The P5 will support the P6 power module when it is moved and reconfigured later next year. Astronauts wearing spacesuits made by Hamilton Sundstrand will attach P5 on one of three scheduled spacewalks. Discovery also is carrying five Remote Power Controller Modules (RPCMs) to provide computer controlled remote switching of power loads throughout the ISS.

Installing the P5 truss and reconfiguring the on board power channels will continue the proven performance of the Electric Power System. The system, first put into operation in 2000, has provided power with no outages or blackouts -- a remarkable accomplishment when compared to Earth-bound systems.

The P5 segment was designed and built by Rocketdyne’s Space Power & Energy business in Canoga Park, Calif. That business became part of Hamilton Sundstrand when United Technologies acquired Rocketdyne from Boeing in 2005. Rocketdyne’s space propulsion business became part of UTC’s Pratt & Whitney unit in the same acquisition.

“We are excited at the opportunity to help bring on-line the permanent electrical power system for the International Space Station,” said Ed Gholdston, program manager for the ISS electric power system at Hamilton Sundstrand’s Rocketdyne facility. “All of us are extremely proud to take this next step in America’s exploration of space.”

Hamilton Sundstrand, a partner in America’s space program since its inception, provides a number of other systems for the ISS, including those that control electrical power and process water, waste and air. On the Discovery orbiter, Hamilton Sundstrand provides crew life support and thermal control systems, auxiliary power units and human waste and storage systems. Hamilton Sundstrand has been the prime contractor to NASA for the space suit since the shuttle era began in 1981.

Other United Technologies companies play a major role in America’s space program as well. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne supplies the space shuttle’s main engines (SSME), which have successfully powered every shuttle launch. The SSME is the world’s only re-usable rocket engine and among the most efficient ever produced. Each engine generates 418,000 pounds maximum thrust at sea level. Discovery STS-116 will be the 117th flight of the three-engine SSME propulsion system, for a total of 351 engine flights. Together, the engines have accumulated more than one million seconds of flight and test operation. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has a 50-year history in space exploration.

UTC Power has supplied fuel cells for the U.S. space program since the 1960s, and continues to provide three 12kW fuel cells that generate all on board electrical power for each orbiter. Backup batteries are not needed, and the water produced by the electrochemical reaction in the fuel cells is used for crew drinking and spacecraft cooling. Thus far, shuttle fuel cells have accumulated more than 93,000 hours of operation.

UTC, which expects space-related revenue to approach $1 billion in 2006, employs about 4,000 people in five states to perform space work.

Hamilton Sundstrand, with 2005 revenues of $4.4 billion, employs approximately 17,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Windsor Locks, Conn. In addition to its space business, Hamilton Sundstrand is among the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and industrial products. The company designs, manufactures and services aerospace systems and provides integrated system solutions for commercial, regional, corporate and military aircraft.

United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company that provides high-technology products and services to the aerospace and building industries.


Hamilton Sundstrand
Dan Coulom

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Bryan Kidder

UTC Power
Peg Hashem

Join the mailing list