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  Deciphering flight hardware (SEB) serial numbers

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Author Topic:   Deciphering flight hardware (SEB) serial numbers

Posts: 410
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 01-14-2007 11:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dsenechal   Click Here to Email dsenechal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know how to decode the SEB numbers that are engraved or printed on many flight articles?

I'm also interested in the 3-digit number that follows the hyphen after the "main" number. Example: SEB12100030-202.


Posts: 593
From: Danville, Ohio, USA
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 01-14-2007 07:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for space1   Click Here to Email space1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know how to decode them (I don't know of any specific meaning to the letters, for example). But I do know that these are Johnson Space Center numbers for items they directly made or modified for flight or training.

The numbers after the "-" are the sub-part number, or version of the item. There might be a right-hand version called -101, and a left-hand version called -102. Or the item might have 5 parts, each with its own dash number.

John Fongheiser, Historic Space Systems


Posts: 410
Registered: Dec 2002

posted 01-14-2007 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dsenechal   Click Here to Email dsenechal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, John, that's a good start. I've also noticed that they seem to be associated with things that the astronauts would handle or use, as opposed to spacecraft components: watches, cameras, lenses, recorders, pens, pilot's preference kit, etc.


Posts: 19
From: Manchester, England
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 03-20-2013 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kizzi   Click Here to Email Kizzi     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I came across JSC Policy Reference (JPR) 8500.4, which defines the numbering systems as:
  • Position 1. Letter 'S' designates the NASA center.

  • Position 2.
    A Arrangement Drawing
    B Master Plan Drawing
    C Construction Drawing
    D Detailed Assembly Drawing
    E Assembly Drawing
    F Erection Drawing
    G Installation Drawing
    H Wiring Harness Drawing
    I Diagram Drawing
    J Kit Drawing
    K Book Form Drawing
    L Envelope Drawings

  • Position 3.
    A Gemini
    B Apollo
    C Skylab A and B (formerly Apollo Applications Program)
    D Space Shuttle
    E Earth Resources
    F Apollo-Soyuz Test Program
    G Space Station Program
    H Constellation Program
    K X-Crew Return Vehicle
    M Russian-Mir Program
    N New Initiatives or Advanced Programs
    W Institutional Programs
    Y Developmental (non-program oriented)
    Z Multiprogram applications

  • Positions 4 and 5
    11 Environmental System
    12 Crew Personnel Equipment
    13 Space Suits
    14 Waste System
    15 Development Flight Instrumentation.
    16 Operational Instrumentation/Communication
    17 Field Testing Instrumentation
    18 Scientific Instrumentation Communication
    19 Stabilization and Control System
    20 Guidance and Navigation Control System
    21 Abort Guidance System
    22 Solid Propellant Motors
    23 Liquid Propulsion Systems
    24 Reaction Control Systems
    25 Power Generators
    26 Pyrotechnics
    27 Spacecraft Structures
    28 Heat Protection
    29 Mechanical Systems
    30 Earth Landing
    31 Planetary Landing
    32 Crew Station
    33 Crew Operation Equipment
    34 Recovery Support Equipment
    35 (Inactive)
    36 Developmental, Experimental Eq. and Test Facilities
    37 Spacecraft Models (Wind Tunnel/Free Flight)
    39 Experimental Equipment (Flight)
    38 Ground Support Equipment
    40 Survival Equipment
    41 Operating Logic Schematics
    42 Bio-instrumentation
    43 Crew Trainers and Simulators
    44 Concept Design Category
    45 Spacecraft Operational Profile
    46 Life Sciences Experiments
    47 Scanning Sensing Systems
    48 Food Systems
    50 Classified Drawings (of any equipment)
    51 X-38 Crew Return Vehicle
    52 Bio-Medical Equipment

  • Drawing Sequence number, so for SEB12100030 it would be 100030

  • Dash numbers
    Numbers -001 to -099, -101 to -199, and -201 to -299 are reserved for individual components or detailed parts on detail drawings.

  • Other ranges have different specialist meanings.

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