Aw Shucks, It’s SHUCS

In what can only be described as having extremely high aspirations by competing in the Big Boys league, Omnipless tenders on and is awarded a contract perhaps under false pretenses. This was SHUCS or SpaceHab Universal Communication System with the ultimate customer being NASA.

Much of what they committed to would require extraordinary effort. With little capital or knowledge about engineering equipment for conditions in space, any snags, glitches or deviations from plan could financially cripple Omnipless.

This is the story of a bunch of intrepid South African engineers who beat the odds and met their target albeit by a narrow margin. It had been a close-run thing.

Main picture: SHUCS finally in space: The antenna is in a roughly horizontal attitude on top of a positioner, on top of a Spacehab module at the back of the Shuttle cargo bay.

Continue reading