National Space Day | Rigging in Space

National Space Day | Rigging in Space

Did you know that today, May 1st, is national space day? We here at Hercules Group of Companies wanted to participate in the fun spirit of today by having a look at some of the ways rigging and fall protection equipment is used in outer space!

Yes, you heard us right – Rigging is essential in many different sectors, and space exploration is included on that list, how cool?! Check out these 5 ways rigging and fall protection equipment like wire rope, harnesses and shackles make space exploration possible:

1. Specially Designed Steel Rope Riser Cables – Orion Spacecraft

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is built to take humans farther than they’ve ever gone before. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

In order for the Orion spacecraft to safety return to Earth, it relies on it’s parachute – a parachute that’s equipped with specially designed steel rope riser cables! in 2014, NASA conducted a test flight for the Orion Space Capsule where after making two orbits of the Earth, it reentered the atmosphere and was brought to a successful splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.

 

2. Cicoil engineered Biomedical Harness – Apollo 11

When Neil Armstrong took his historic first step on the surface of the Moon, he was wearing a bio-belt that was fitted with a Cicoil engineered Biomedical Harness. This harness took the typical safety measures of a lead and harness and kicked it up a notch, with special biotelemetry technology that allowed for tracking vital signs of the astronauts, such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, body temperature, and pulse rate to be recorded and evaluated.

Since at the time they were uncertain of the effects on the human body associated with Space flight, this elevated harness allowed for surgeons at the Ground Command Center in Houston to identify problems in real-time and provide quick solutions. Without this important piece of what we like to think of as EXTREMELY elevated fall protection, who can say that the Moon landing expedition would have been possible.

 

3. Exercise Countermeasures – ISS

The human body goes through a lot when going into space, and negative effects on the body can be associated with long periods spent in space. NASA uses exercise countermeasures on the International Space Station (ISS) in order to maintain their crew’s health and combat these negative effects. Most of these countermeasure exercise systems rely heavily on textile and wire rope as well as fall protection style systems and harnesses.

There are many different specially designed exercise machines used in space. If you’re interested in learning a bit more about these, click here for some examples! In the photo here you see an astronaut using a specially designed version of a treadmill, strapped in using a lead and harness to allow him to complete his workout without floating away!

 

4. PBI Fiber Rope Sleep Restraint – Apollo 11

Looking at another example from the famous Apollo 11, sleep restraints were made out 10-foot PBI (polybenzimidazole) fiber rope with plastic ferrules on the ends to prevent fraying. Sleeping bags were latched to the center aisle of sleeping quarters using this special rope. This is a system that at its core is still in place in modern space exploration, but has of course been updated.

The photo featured here is one of the five ropes flown on the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. These were transferred to the Smithsonian in 1970 as important aspects of history being made in space exploration!


No matter how out of this world the project – Hercules SLR is here to support you every step of the way.

Hercules SLR is your source for craneshoistswire ropefall arrest equipment and much, much more. We also provide equipment rentals and perform inspections, repairs, and certifications, at your business or in one of our fully-equipped shops. Need assistance staying safety compliant? Our experienced consultants help with risk assessment, PPE specification, hazard analysis, fall protection, and incident investigation. Other services include the design and installation of horizontal lifelines, vertical lifelines and anchor points.

Hercules SLR is your one-stop-shop for securing, rigging and lifting!

NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Rigging in Space | SpaceX Uses Crosby 

Rigging in Space: SpaceX Uses Crosby 

Rocket science—Pushing the boundaries between new technology and old technology.

Whether you’re familiar with the ins and outs of rocket science or not, you probably have some idea of its complexity. Rocket science has even become slang for anything overly complex, detailed or confusing—With “It’s not rocket science” becoming a popular way of saying that something isn’t very complex.

But, did you know that even the rocket science industry depends on rigging hardware and technology in order to successfully see their work come to life?

SpaceX, Elon Musk’s Company, has gained worldwide attention for a series of historic milestones. It’s the only private company that has returned a spacecraft from low Earth orbit, which it first accomplished in 2010. The company made history again in 2012 when their Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

Even a record-breaking company like SpaceX relies on the tried and true technology of rigging. Crosby wide body shackles were used on the recent SpaceX Starship lift near Brownsville, TX, to join the two halves of the spacecraft together.

SpaceX operates the world’s only operational reusable orbital-class rockets and spacecraft designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Once complete, this star-ship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed. It will have the ability to carry in excess of 100 metric tonnes into Earth’s orbit.

Unfortunately that prototype, the Starship MK1, partially exploded during a pressurized test conducted by the SpaceX team late last month. It erupted at its tip, sending vapor and shrapnel flying into the air—You can check out the explosion here, captured on YouTube.

However, as stated by SpaceX a few hours following the test, “The purpose of today’s test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected…There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback.”

They’re wasting no time jumping into the next model, the Mk3, so there will surely be lots of record-breaking updates to come in this saga of futuristic space exploration!


Nobody knows what the future of space exploration holds—But something we can always be sure about is Crosby. The Crosby brand has been trusted for more than 130 years as the world’s leading manufacturer for rigging, lifting, and material handling applications.

Crosby delivers the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of products, engineered to exceed the toughest demands—Even when faced with lifting a SPACESHIP!

Hercules SLR is proud to be an Authorized Crosby Distributor and a Certified Crosby Repair Center. See your Crosby gear from purchase, all the way to service with Hercules SLR’s extensive product selection, inspection & service team, asset management, testing and more.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Out of the World Lifts: SLR Helps Radarsat Constellation Mission

radarstat constellation mission

Lifting Out of this World: Hercules SLR Helps RADARSAT Constellation Mission

Hercules SLR is committed to safety at every level—Even in outer space.

On Wednesday, June 12, SpaceX launched the RADARSAT Constellation Mission from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

At 7:17 a.m. PDT (14:17 UTC), the Falcon 9 launched, which was the first of three RADARSAT satellites deployed about 54 minutes following launch.

After stage separation, the Falcon 9 returned to SpaceX’s Landing Zone 4 at the Air Force Base. The first stage for the RADARSAT Constellation mission previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demo mission in March 2019.

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission shows Canada’s excellence in Earth observation from Space. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission is made of three identical C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Earth observation satellites built by MDA, a Maxar Company.

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission will scan and collect daily revisits of Canada’s vast territory and maritime approaches, like the Arctic, up to four times per day. The three-satellite configuration can also access any point of 90% of the world’s surface.

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission supports the Government of Canada to deliver responsive and cost-effective services for fields like maritime surveillance, ecosystem and climate change observation.

For example, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission will:

  • Help create precise sea ice maps of Canada’s oceans and the Great Lakes to facilitate navigation and commercial maritime transportation. Each satellite also carries an Automatic Identification System receiver, allowing improved detection and tracking of vessels of interest.
  • Collect highly-accurate data that will let farmers maximize crop yields, while reducing energy consumption and use of potential pollutants.
  • Take and provide images of areas affected by disaster to help organize emergency response efforts and protect local population.

Hercules SLR is one of many proud Canadian suppliers to supply rigging equipment, hardware and safety training to make the RADARSAT Constellation Mission possible.  

Learn more about the mission and launch—Checkout the webcast from the SpaceX YouTube channel below. 

Video via SpaceX


FOR RELATED READING, CHECK OUT OUR BLOGS:

HERC HOW-TO: ASSEMBLE A CHAIN SLING

GET TO KNOW YOUR LANGLEY NDE INSPECTOR, CHRIS DAVIES

DISCOVER LANGLEY: ADVANTAGES OF NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING


HERCULES SLR PROVIDES MAINTENANCE, INSPECTIONS & REPAIRS FOR RIGGING EQUIPMENT

NEED A LIFT? DROP US A LINE, OR GIVE US A CALL!

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876


Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com