WASHINGTON, July 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) ("UTC") – the company that provided the Life Support System for the Apollo 11 suit, today showcased a suite of critical technologies it has contributed to the past, present and future of manned space programs during an event on Capitol Hill, where it also unveiled a prototype of its Collins Aerospace unit's Next Generation Space Suit system.
Dan Burbank, former NASA astronaut and current Sr. Technical Fellow at Collins Aerospace, narrated a demonstration of the prototype's capabilities at the event, alongside Rep. Kendra Horn, Chair of the House Space Subcommittee, and Rep. Brian Babin, the Subcommittee's Ranking Member, both of whom applauded the efforts of UTC and its suppliers to make space exploration possible.
UTC's businesses have been a part of every NASA space mission over the past 50 years. Key contributions by the company to the Apollo mission include:
- Space Suit: UTC's legacy Hamilton Standard unit, now part of Collins Aerospace, served as one of two prime contractors on NASA's Apollo space suit. The company was responsible for the Portable Life Support System, without which Neil Armstrong would never have been able to take his historic first steps on the moon. This system pressurized the suit, provided oxygen, removed carbon dioxide, controlled humidity and provided heat removal and cooling for those wearing the suit. The heating and cooling element was especially critical given that temperatures would range from -250° F to 250° F. Over the course of Project Apollo, the company's life support technology sustained 12 astronauts for a total of 138 hours on the moon.
- Apollo Spacecraft and Lunar Module: UTC's Pratt & Whitney unit developed the technology for the fuel cells that provided power to the Apollo 11 mission. The Lunar Module which shuttled the Apollo astronauts to the moon's surface was equipped with an environmental control system developed by UTC's Hamilton Standard to provide a life-sustaining atmosphere onboard the spacecraft. This included everything from heating and cooling to carbon dioxide removal and waste management.
- Radio Communications: When Neil Armstrong spoke his famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," more than 600 million television viewers across the world were able to hear and see it thanks to the communications technology provided by Collins Radio, now part of Collins Aerospace.
Post-Apollo space mission contributions include:
- Present Day Space Suit: Since the first launch of the Space Shuttle in 1981, Collins Aerospace has been the prime contractor and integrator for the current space suit used today for space shuttle and International Space Station missions.
- Rocket Propulsion: Pratt & Whitney has consistently collaborated with NASA over the decades to develop mission critical propulsion technologies. Pratt & Whitney Canada's PW308A is currently being used to power a launch aircraft for civilian space travel.
- International Space Station: Collins Aerospace provides the ECLSS (Environmental Control and Life Support System) and EATCS (External Active Thermal Control System) for the International Space Station, helping to maintain a habitable environment and keep the station's crew of six alive 220 miles above the Earth.
- Orion Program: Collins Aerospace provides thermal control, life support and power management and distribution systems for the Orion spacecraft that will take astronauts on deep space missions beyond Low Earth Orbit.
- Parker Solar Probe: The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) flew closer to the sun's surface than any other spacecraft. The PSP is protected by the innovative Solar Array Cooling System, designed and developed by Collins Aerospace.
- Many others (https://www.collinsaerospace.com/promo/space-technologies-defying-impossible-for-50-years)
A number of these products were displayed during the United Technologies event, which was open to the public from 9am-1pm in the Rayburn House Office Building.
"A lot has changed since we first landed astronauts on the Moon," said Burbank. "UTC's technologies made Neil Armstrong's first steps on the lunar surface possible, and our innovation will continue to play a role in solving the hard challenges and enabling future missions for generations to come."
Photos from the event can be found at: http://bit.ly/SpaceDay_Wire
About United Technologies Corporation
United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, the company is creating smart, sustainable solutions the world needs. For more information about the company, visit our website at www.utc.com or on Twitter @UTC.
UTC (860) 728-6236
SOURCE United Technologies Corp.