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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NASA Visits UT Tyler

Jeff Fox, Christie Sauers, and Leland Dysart from NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston visited UT Tyler for an update on the pallet and struts construction, as well as to visit with students from Fruitvale High School who are also working on the medium fidelity Orion mockup.

James Tubb, James Nelson, James Mills, Leland Dysart, and Christie Sauers discuss the pallet design at the UT Tyler Fabrication Laboratory.
Further discussion of the pallet, while UT Tyler team leader James Tubb refers to the project report and drawings.
Weld prepared as an example of how the strut ends will be fabricated.
Fruitvale High School representatives and NASA engineers watching a demo of the laser cutter in the UT Tyler Manufacturing Laboratory.
One of the main purposes of the visit was for NASA engineers to take a look at the pallet and address concerns about weight.  The current pallet design weights 495 lbs, not including the struts.  A quick call to JSC verified that the forward bulkhead, from which the pallet with be suspended, had been designed for sufficient strength to support the pallet, struts, training astronauts, and technicians.

NASA engineers also wanted to see examples of the various welds that would be used to hold the pallet together.  UT Tyler engineering dean Dr. James Nelson, who made it possible for UT Tyler and various high schools in East Texas to participate in this project, also advised on the pallet based on his background in structural design.

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