Welcome to Guard-Lee!
Guard-Lee, Inc is a custom fabrication business located in central Florida, USA, which specializes in the design and production of full scale space and aerospace replicas. The company also builds specialty exhibits and interactive devices, and it performs aerospace artifact restorations. This range of work is done by Guard-Lee for science centers, museums, private entities, film companies, NASA centers, defense contractors, and the U.S. military.
Payloads for Endeavour at California Science Center
During the month of October, 2014, Guard-Lee technicians worked with a California Science Center team lead by Dennis Jenkins, Project Director, to open Endeavour's Payload Bay doors, load replica and artifact Payload parts into the bay, and then close the doors over them. The payloads included a replica Airlock, a replica Tunnel Adapter pallet, replica tunnel segments, an artifact "Short Tunnel" segment, an artifact Spacehab with a replicated forward bulkhead, an artifact ICC cargo frame, and a replica RMS Canada Arm. Guard-Lee fabricated the replica pieces at its Apopka, Florida, shop and shipped them to Los Angeles as part of a sequenced installation operation. The CSC team included critical support supplied by former United Space Alliance Shuttle Technicians Jeff Moore, Cliff Semonski, and Tim Keyser, with rigging expertise supplied by LA Propoint's Lee Chuong and Justin Levin. Crane support was supplied by expert operators from Champion Crane. Guard-Lee technicians Tom Wilkes, Jack Marques, and Luis Pinero provided pre-assembly and preparation of the replicas. The operation was done in support of the Science Center's plan to provide a new facility for Endeavour that will depict the "Full Stack" configuration of the Space Transportation System (STS) with the Orbiter mounted vertically, attached to an External Tank/Solid Rocket Booster display. In this configuration, the port side Bay Door will be open to allow the payloads to be seen.
Space Shuttle Atlantis, 2013
Special photography in this article by Mitch Tartock, Guard-Lee, Inc.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction opened in June 2013 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA. Here Atlantis is displayed in grand and dynamic fashion, and the surrounding exhibits and interactive devices tell the story of the Space Shuttle and its role in history and science.
Prior to Atlantis arriving at the display venue, preparations to get the Orbiter ready for display included work by Guard-Lee:
Main Engine Augments: When the Shuttle Program ended, flight-worthy Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) were retained by NASA for future program use. The retired Orbiters were given “test” and “engineering use only” SSME nozzles to complete them for display. Guard-Lee designed and applied artistic treatments for these engines to make them appear as flown articles. The treatment processes were eventually applied to all three retired orbital vehicles: Endeavour, Discovery, and Atlantis.
Full Scale Airlock Representation with Docking Adapter: This piece was built at Guard-Lee and installed in Atlantis by Shuttle technicians in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) at Kennedy Space Center.
Four Replica Payload Bay Cameras: These were also installed while Atlantis was in the OPF.
Full Scale RMS Arm Representation: This piece was built at Guard-Lee and installed in Atlantis just prior to the opening of the venue.
In addition, Guard-Lee designed and built the following displays at Space Shuttle Atlantis:
Full scale Hubble Space Telescope, suspended
ISS Crawl-thru 1/3 scale model, partially suspended
Full scale ISS Destiny module with partial interior experiment racks, used as video enclosure
Full size split Shuttle Cockpit, as a sit-in photo-opportunity
EMU space suit with partial RMS, suspended
EMU space suit with MMU backpack, suspended
Working with the primary exhibit contractor, Nassal, Guard-Lee performed the following cooperative and components efforts:
Stabilization of the artifact “Beanie Cap” from one of the Shuttle Launch Towers
Stabilization of a complete artifact SSME, an engine having flown on three missions
Refurbishment of a scale Space Shuttle “Full Stack” model
Creation of Shuttle switchpanels for the interactive simulators in the SSA “sim bay”.