Radstone Lifts-off on US Space Shuttle Discovery, (8 March 2001), with First Major Experiments for the International Space Station Laboratory

Space Shuttle Discovery (Mission STS-102), is due to lift-off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 8 March, carrying the first major experiments for the International Space Station (ISS) laboratory module, Destiny. The experiments will fly in special payload racks, fitted with space-qualified versions of Radstone's proven rugged ATR computer chassis. Radstone supplies its space-adapted computer chassis to The Boeing Company, NASA's prime contractor for the ISS program.  The enclosures include a variety of special features to meet NASA requirements, including a radiation-hardened power supply. The equipment is a key part of the EXPRESS (EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station) Rack program.  EXPRESS Rack accepts International Standard Payload Racks (ISPRs), designed to allow the efficient integration of experiments into the ISS laboratory module. Computers attached to the EXPRESS Rack will enable the ISS crew to control the rack and its scientific payloads, while back on Earth, researchers can control their experiments and receive data. The EXPRESS Racks will be carried aboard Discovery in the Leonardo Multipurpose Logistics Module, built by the Italian Space Agency.  Leonardo is the first of three pressurized modules that will carry laboratory racks, equipment and supplies to and from the ISS. Regarded as the centerpiece of the ISS, Destiny is a state-of-the-art facility, enabling scientific research that cannot be performed on Earth.  It provides an orbital laboratory for long-term research in variable gravity.  Research in biology, chemistry, physics, ecology and medicine will be possible, using the most modern tools available.  The laboratory is expected to yield a stream of findings from a planned series of hundreds of science and technology experiments. Dr Charles Paterson, Radstone Group Managing Director commented;"EXPRESS Rack was Radstone's first involvement with ISS and represents an important opportunity to demonstrate our rugged computer technology in the space environment.  We are delighted to work with Boeing and NASA on this important program and to be part of an historic inaugural mission." STS-102 will be the eighth shuttle mission to visit the ISS and will also be the focus for the first-ever crew exchange.  Space Shuttle Discovery will deliver the second expedition crew to the ISS and bring home the Station's first crew after completing more than four months aboard the complex.  Discovery is planned to land on 20 March at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. -ends-