Workers in a Quality trailer in the Launch Pad 39B Area unwrap a new Enhanced Main Events Controller (E-MEC) to be installed in Shuttle Endeavour. The original E-MEC in Endeavour became suspect during the Jan. 31 launch countdown and mission STS-99 was delayed when NASA managers decided to replace it. Each Shuttle carries two enhanced master events controllers (E-MECs), which provide relays for onboard flight computers to send signals to arm and fire pyrotechnics that separate the solid rockets and external tank during assent. The E-MECs are located in the orbiter's aft compartment and both are needed for the Shuttle to be cleared for flight. Currently Endeavour and Columbia are the only two orbiters with the E-MECs. Built by Rockwell's Satellite Space Electronics Division, Anaheim, Calif., each unit weighs 65 pounds and is approximately 20 inches long, 13 inches wide and 8 inches tall. Previously, three Shuttle flights have been scrubbed or delayed due to faulty MECs: STS-73, STS-49 and STS-41-D. Before workers can begin E-MEC replacement efforts at the launch pad, cryogenic reactants must be offloaded from the orbiter and Space Shuttle ordnance disconnected. The next scheduled date for launch of STS-99 is Feb. 11 at 12:30 p.m. EST. (Photo Release Date: 02/03/2000 )
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