Honoured by NASA

Ottawa’s Neptec Design Group is given an award by NASA for its outstanding performance on the recent STS-118 Orbiter Mission. Neptec’s Laser Camera System (LCS) team was nominated by the mission’s crew and lead flight directors for its NeptecClr-111X52.jpg“exceptional efforts in the development and operation of the LCS,” which provided the critical tile damage assessment that allowed NASA to clear Endeavour for entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. “The information provided by Neptec and its LCS data gave NASA’s engineering and mission management team the tangible information they needed to make a very confident and educated decision about bringing the shuttle home without filling the damaged area in orbit,” says Neptec, whose LCS operations leader Andrew Montpool accepted the award on behalf of the company at a ceremony held recently at the Houston Space Centre. Designed specifically to help ensure the safety of future shuttle missions after the Columbia disaster in 2003, Neptec’s LCS is part of a suite of sensors wielded by the Canadarm to inspect areas of the shuttle once invisible to astronauts. On flight STS-118, heat resistant tiles were damaged just after liftoff on August 8. The damage to the shuttle’s shielding and the subsequent record-breaking space walks by Canadian astronaut Dave Williams to inspect the damage made headlines across Canada.

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