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NASA Space Shuttle’s Final Mission Sparks Memories in Aeronautics

July 25th, 2011

With news of the NASA Space Shuttle’s final mission, we at Si-Tech had to pause for a moment. The US space program has long been a point of interest for our employees and engineers, since we are one of the few liquid silicone injection molding companies that has dealt with aerospace engineering in our technology.

The Space Shuttle Atlantis recently flew its final mission as part of its 30-year history of short-range space exploration. Part of what made the Space Shuttle’s historic closure interesting was its trip to the International Space Station. During its mission, the crew of four delivered more than 9,400 pounds of equipment, food and other supplies to the International Space Station, then brought several thousand pounds of unneeded  materials back to Earth. The space program has come a long way. Thirty years ago, the thought of picking up and dropping off supplies in aeronautical spacecraft was nearly beyond imagination. The production of components for aeronautical spacecraft was in its infancy, and the idea that space flights through private enterprise would one day take over the reins from a government program was unfathomable. It has now become a reality.

These days, when most people think of aeronautics, they think of flights into space, landing on the moon or Mars and other space exploration missions, docking in a port and landing back on the ground. At Si-Tech, when we think of aeronautics, we think of those things too, but in a different light. We think about ITAR certified rubber molding, silicone molded keypad usage in zero gravity and the concept that exciting projects in space exploration rely on computerized communications and liquid silicone injection molding components. We think back to the creation of Si Prime, a coating system that was specifically designed to bond various surfaces to elastomer keypad applications with acrylic adhesive. We have had proven success with Si Prime in aerospace projects, especially the combination of our specialized screened silicone inks and liquid silicone injection molding.

As this chapter of NASA Space Shuttle flight closes and the future of short-range space flight turns to private industry, the use of ITAR certified rubber molding and products like Si Prime will only expand. We look forward to the future in the aeronautics industry and the advancements in technology that are sure to come with it.

Si-Tech salutes the Space Shuttle Atlantis crew members and the many hands that helped to create a safe and successful mission.

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