Raytheon is responsible for operating, maintaining and providing sustaining engineering for a variety of NASA training programs, including two critical human space flight training facilities located at NASA’s Johnson Space Center: the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) and the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility (SVMF), which provide training for the International Space Station and other programs. 

Neutral Buoyancy Lab
NBL2 photoThe NBL facility contains a 202-foot long,102-foot wide and 40-foot-deep water tank that can simultaneously support two separate test sessions using full-size Space Station underwater mockups. The facility has 2 DEMAG bridge cranes (20,000 lb lifting capacity each) and 4 Morse Jib Cranes (3,200 lb lifting capacity each) poolside. The bridge cranes are used to reconfigure mockups and robotic arms in the pool. The jib cranes are used to lower and raise suited astronauts and tools into and out of the pool. The NBL facility is used for extra vehicular activity (EVA) training, testing and performing critical lifts and rigging.

The facility has more than 1,000 separate mockups representing various space programs. Raytheon is responsible for configuring and maintaining the mockups.

SVMF photoSpace Vehicle Mock-up Facility
The SVMF contains a full-scale Space Station mockup, Russian space vehicle mockups, two air-bearing facilities, a partial gravity simulator and various part-task mockups and trainers.  The SVMF provides capabilities used for space flight training, mission support, mission development, vehicle sustaining engineering, developmental engineering analysis and public affairs. Training includes intra vehicular activity (IVA) training and testing, emergency escape and rescue, and crane operations and critical lift hazards.

Robotics Systems Modeling and Simulation
Raytheon provides high-fidelity, hardware-in-the-loop and human-in-the-loop robotics modeling and simulation including:Robotics photos

  • Six-degree of Freedom robotic arm motion kinematics – up to 7 joints
  • TRICK integration with core Simulator models (electrical, thermal, EOM) and systems (RWS, visual and hand controllers)
  • Moving object management (grappling and berthing) and contact dynamics
  • Simulation of complex mechanisms and motor controllers
  • Simulation of close proximity operations that install large objects demanding careful coordination between robotic arm operators and controllers
  • Visual system development, integrated with cameras and video distribution
  • End-to-end mission training distributed across multiple facilities

Systems Management, Operations, and Sustaining Engineering
Raytheon currently performs major logistical, technical and operations services 24/7 in support of dynamically changing operational environments in three of the most critical and hazardous training facilities at NASA, JSC.

  • Maintain and operate over 30 individual training systems and 12 life support systems
  • Manage 50 major training configuration changes per month
  • Manage connectivity with 5 external facilities
  • Maintain concurrency with or in advance of real-world configurations
  • Design, Manufacture, Integrate, and Sustain life-size mockups

Range1 photoRange Technical Services
Raytheon operates and maintains technical space flight tracking and control facilities and provides operations support services to the 45th Space Wing and range user activities (USAF, Army, Navy, NASA and commercial aerospace companies). This support includes:

Base/Site Operations at multiple locations including Cape Canaveral, Patrick AFB, Jonathan Dickinson Missile Tracking Annex, Antigua Air Station, Ascension Island and Argentina, Newfoundland

  • Communications Systems Design and Operations Services
  • Facilities Management Services
  • Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Services
  • Test & Evaluation Services
  • Range Support Management and Control Plan


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