Tucson engineers’ components aboard Endeavour’s final flight
By Patrick McNamara, Inside Tucson Business | Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 12:00 pm
With the touchdown of the orbiter Atlantis July 21, the American Space Shuttle program officially ended. In addition to the well-publicized Tucson connection of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, the final days of the program carried another Southern Arizona link.
Packed away among the assorted experiments aboard the shuttle’s second to last mission, the Kelly commanded Endeavour, was the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE) project.
Tucson engineering firm Lindel Engineering built components for the experiment, which The Planetary Society sponsored.
“We were really excited to participate in this program,” Marcos Martinez said, Lindel’s general manager.
Lindel was hired to build a set of titanium capsules designed to hold microorganisms that were tested in the orbiting environment.