Perhaps you’ve heard about “white glove delivery” for special antiques or furniture.
Well, guess what? Recently, NASA utilized a similar service to move the spaceflight hardware that will be used in the Cell Science-02 studies from California to Florida.
Most of NASA’s space biology research programs are conducted at Ames Research Center, which is located in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. This is also where the specialized hardware needed for our cell study was built and tested. However, this hardware is quite a distance from its final destination: the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.
Because of the complexity and sensitivity of the hardware, NASA uses white glove delivery services to minimize the possibility of a mission-ending jolt or snag that could materialize during transport. Not only does this type of service provide knowledgeable crews, expert packing and unpacking and specialized handling during transport, but also can monitor a multitude of parameters (vibrations, acceleration, humidity etc.) during the entire process.
The good news is that the hardware’s 2,800-mile cross-country trek went off without a hitch and is now awaiting for us to load our cells prior to its installation onto SpaceX CRS-18. Once installed, along with 50 other scientific experiments, our cells will head toward the unique conditions found inside the International Space Station.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Caitlin VanOverberghe is a communications coordinator for the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she supports the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Department of Ophthalmology. Having earned degrees in journalism and telecommunications ...