Apollo 11 to the Space Shuttle – Crane A&E’s Rich History in Supporting Space Exploration

Apollo 11 to the Space Shuttle – Crane A&E’s Rich History in Supporting Space Exploration

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Crane Aerospace & Electronics and its heritage brands have a rich history of supporting some of the most well-known U.S. space programs. From supplying brake control systems, sensors, cooling pumps and power conversion technology, Crane A&E through the years has supported NASA in its tremendous accomplishments in space exploration. Take a minute and learn about five of the most notable programs Crane A&E has been a part of.


1. APOLLO 11

Apollo 11
Image Credit: NASA

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong exited the Apollo 11 Lunar Module and became the first human to ever step foot on the moon. Armstrong’s feat was broadcast on live TV across the world. He described it as “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Crane’s Hydro-Aire brand supported the mission by providing the cooling system for the lunar landing module.


2. APOLLO 13

Apollo 13
Image Credit: NASA

Apollo 13 is perhaps the most talked about mission in NASA history. Classified as a successful failure, the astronauts didn’t reach their desired moon destination, but NASA succeeded in bringing Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise back to earth safely after an oxygen tank in the mission’s service module failed, which prompted the infamous: “Houston, we’ve had a problem” line. Crane Hydro-Aire’s coolant pumps stayed operational and were deemed so critical that NASA required a Hydro-Aire support crew be connected to mission control 24/7.



Mars Rover
Image Credit: NASA

Today, Crane A&E is proud to have its product hard at work 115 million miles away on Mars’ surface. The Mars Spirit, Curiosity and Opportunity rovers feature Crane A&E’s radiation-hardened power conversion components. Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in early 2004 and are credited with finding evidence that conditions on Mars could have sustained microbial life. Curiosity is still active on Mars and continues relaying vital geological information that lets researches learn more about the Red Planet. Crane A&E will also feature product on Mars 2020’s Perseverance and has content on Mars Insight.



Image Credit: NASA

Over the last 30 years, NASA’s Hubble Telescope has provided a brilliant window into the wonders of our solar system. Hubble has recorded some of the most detailed, visible light images of space today, and many Hubble observations have led to astrophysics breakthroughs. Crane A&E supplies the low-Earth orbit space telescope with its power conversion technology.



Space Shuttle
Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Space Shuttle accomplished plenty during its 30 years of service (1981-2011). Space Shuttle orbiter vehicles flew 135 missions, which launched numerous satellites, interplanetary probes, the Hubble Telescope and helped in construction and servicing of the International Space Station. Sadly, two of the Shuttle’s orbiters, Challenger and Columbia, were lost in mission accidents related to foam debris and an external tank explosion. Crane A&E heritage brands provided Space Shuttle vehicles with brake controls and sensors.


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