West Virginia Department of Commerce Carbon fiber carrier flies to Hubble

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Carbon fiber carrier flies to Hubble

Carbon fiber carrier flies to Hubble

The composite Super Lightweight Interchangeable Carrier (SLIC) is a new breed of equipment carrier that allowed the Space Shuttle to transport a full complement of scientific instruments and other components to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Made of carbon fiber with a cyanate ester resin and a titanium metal matrix composite, the SLIC is the first all-composite carrier to fly on the shuttle. The flat, reusable pallet looks very different from the carriers flown on previous Hubble servicing missions because of its efficient design.

This design, plus SLIC’s composite construction, makes it much lighter and stronger than traditional aluminum carriers. About half the weight of its predecessors, SLIC shows a dramatic increase in performance over other Hubble equipment carriers, with nearly double the carrying capability.

The SLIC is built in Bridgeport, W.Va., by FMW Composite Systems, Inc. FMW specializes in composite manufacturing utilizing a variety of matrix systems, including metal, polymer and rubber. The company provides engineering, development, manufacturing and production expertise to commercial companies, defense contractors and the U.S. Military Services.

Learn more about FMW Composite Systems, Inc.  Learn more.
Aerospace Insert
Aerospace Industry Brochure

Aerospace is one of the fastest growing sectors of the West Virginia economy. Higher profitability, lower labor costs and utility savings contribute to the successful operations within the state.