Spacelab, Instrument Pointing System

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The Spacelab Instrument Pointing System (IPS) was a three-axis gimbaled mounting platform used on an exposed pallet in the payload bay of the Space Shuttle. It provided excellent pointing accuracy and stability for telescopes, cameras, and other scientific instruments attached to it.

The European Space Agency developed the IPS for the Spacelab program. Two IPS units were manufactured by Dornier, but only one was flown. The IPS displayed here was used on three missions: Spacelab 2 (1985), Astro-1 (1990), and Astro-2 (1995). NASA transferred it to the Museum when the Spacelab program ended.

Transferred from NASA Kennedy Space Center.

Country of Origin
Federal Republic of Germany

Manufacturer
Dornier

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Exhibit Station
Space Science

Type
INSTRUMENTS-Scientific

Materials
aluminum and steel structure; MLI multi-layer thermal insulation blankets (NOMEX, aluminized mylar, gold foil, etc.)
Dimensions
3-D: 210.8 x 269.2 x 320cm, 1134kg (83 in. x 106 in. x 10 ft. 6 in., 2500lb.)

The Spacelab Instrument Pointing System (IPS) was a three-axis gimbaled mounting platform used on an exposed pallet in the payload bay of the Space Shuttle. It provided excellent pointing accuracy and stability for telescopes, cameras, and other scientific instruments attached to it.

The European Space Agency developed the IPS for the Spacelab program. Two IPS units were manufactured by Dornier, but only one was flown. The IPS displayed here was used on three missions: Spacelab 2 (1985), Astro-1 (1990), and Astro-2 (1995). NASA transferred it to the Museum when the Spacelab program ended.

Transferred from NASA Kennedy Space Center.

Country of Origin
Federal Republic of Germany

Manufacturer
Dornier

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Exhibit Station
Space Science

Type
INSTRUMENTS-Scientific

Materials
aluminum and steel structure; MLI multi-layer thermal insulation blankets (NOMEX, aluminized mylar, gold foil, etc.)
Dimensions
3-D: 210.8 x 269.2 x 320cm, 1134kg (83 in. x 106 in. x 10 ft. 6 in., 2500lb.)

ID: A19990001006