Nelson completes space-age container system

By Sarah Ann McCay28 July 2012

The complete MSSCS trailer ready for delivery

The complete MSSCS trailer ready for delivery

Nelson Manufacturing Company of Ottawa, Ohio has delivered the Modular Spacecraft Shipping Container System (MSSCS) to Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. (SGT) of Greenbelt, Maryland, on behalf of NASA.

The trailer is 57 feet (17 metres) long by 14 foot 8 inches (4.5 m) wide and 13 foot 6 in (4.1 m) tall with 6 inches (150 mm) of ground clearance. The front and rear goosenecks hydraulically raise and lower to increase or decrease the ground clearance as needed during transit. The rear air ride tri-axle is hydraulically steerable with a wireless remote control. The center container section can be hydraulically removed to allow for removal inside satellite processing facilities.

Nelson manufactured the MSSCS using special features and materials to simplify use in clean room environments. The manufacturer also worked with SGT to install and test diesel generators, environmental control units, purge system and a monitoring system.

The Nelson team was also responsible for designing, fabricating and testing the spacecraft transport fixture (STF) and shock isolation system for the first scheduled mission for the trailer. The MSSCS and STF will be embarking on a pathfinder mission at the end of July.

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