17/07/2014 - 09:41 am

American Crane & Equipment’s Clean Room Crane Lifts NASA Crew Module


An overhead clean room crane from American Crane & Equipment Corporation helped to lift and stack the Orion crew module inside the Final Assembly and System Test (FAST) cell at the Operations and Checkout facility at Kennedy Space Center.

American Crane’s 25 ton double girder clean room crane (with single failure-proof hoist) lifted and placed Lockheed Martin’s Orion crew module atop its service module. This custom overhead crane is specifically designed with micro speed movements to mate these critical components.

The crane also features stainless steel self-locking fasteners, runway conductor bars enclosed in plastic housing, a debris shield on the lower block, (preventing any small particles from falling off the crane) and continuous kick-plates on all the walkways, capturing any dirt or debris.

The special design of American Crane‘s clean room crane is imperative for the safe performance of the spacecraft. Later this year, an uncrewed Orion will launch on a Delta IV Heavy rocket and travel 3,600 miles beyond low Earth orbit, 15 times further than the International Space Station. That same day, Orion will return to Earth at a speed of approximately 20,000 mph for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. This flight test will help ensure the safety of the flight crew for future manned flights.

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