Lockheed Martin Corporation has donated the labor required to erect a class 10,000 clean room to the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP). This clean room will help protect our refurbished 1960’s era Ampex FR-900 tape drives from the environment inside NASA Ames Research Park Building 596 aka “McMoons”, which was originally constructed to house a McDonalds restaurant.
In the 1960’s these tape drives were operated in an old style computer room, with raised floors ultra-clean air, and constant air conditioning. Since our building’s air conditioning system was sized for the heat of the kitchen and lots of customers, we are able to maintain the temperature to near optimum conditions. However, dust and dirt are still a problem with the finely tuned machine.
One large dust particle could break a head tip if it went into it in the wrong direction. As such, this 10 x 12 foot clean room will provide a more optimal environment for both of the tape drives.
The clean room has a positive air pressure and heavy filtering of the air to reduce dust particles in the air. The positive air pressure also helps to keep outside floor dirt from being sucked up in the fans that cool the machines.
The Lockheed Martin team who helped in the assembly of the portable clean room were Bob Allen, Lance Ellingson, Robert Phillips, and David Leskovsky.
“This generous gift from Lockheed Martin will help us to keep the our tape drives operating better in an environment similar to what they were designed for” said Dennis Wingo, LOIRP project lead.
The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is located at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. Funding and support for this project has been provided by NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA Innovative Partnerships Program, NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Odyssey Moon LLC, SkyCorp Inc., and SpaceRef Interactive Inc.
For more information on the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) visit http://18.104.22.168
For information on NASA’s Lunar Science Institute visit http://lunarscience.arc.nasa.gov/
For information on NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate visit http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/