Thursday, July 8, 2010

Final Five Shuttle Missions


Sunday February 7, 2010
STS-130 scheduled for launch at 4:39 a.m. EST

Space Shuttle Endeavour will deliver the Tranquility module, built by the Alenia Space Facility in Turin, Italy. Formerly known as "Node 3," it infamously skipped being named "Colbert" after a dubiously amusing TV personality hijacked a NASA poll. Another important part of the STS-130 payload is the Cupola, a robotic control station with seven windows that will provide a 360-degree view around the ISS. Three spacewalks are planned.

Tranquility Node 3
Tranquility, the final connecting node

Monday, April 5, 2010
STS-131 scheduled for launch at 6:21 a.m. EDT

Space Shuttle Discovery will have as its primary payload the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, filled with science racks that will be transferred to laboratories of the International Space Station. Numerous other smaller payloads make this the heaviest cargo transport since STS-107 in 2003. This penultimate voyage of Discovery is the last mission that will include astronaut rookies experiencing their first spaceflight – two from NASA and one from JAXA. Three spacewalks are planned.

Friday, May 14, 2010
STS-132 scheduled for launch at 2:28 p.m. EDT

The very last flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis will carry an Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable (ICC-VLD) to deliver maintenance and assembly hardware, and a spare "elbow" for the European Robotic Arm. The second in a series of new pressurized components for Russia, a Rassvet Mini Research Module, will be permanently attached to the lower port of the Zarya module. No more rookies… all-veteran crew! Three spacewalks are planned.

Monday, November 1, 2010
STS-133 scheduled for launch at 4:33 p.m. EDT

The very last flight of Space Shuttle Discovery. An all-veteran, all-American crew will deliver the Express Logistics Carrier and Multi-Purpose Logistics Module.

Space Shuttle
Saturday, February 26, 2011
STS-134 scheduled for launch at 4:19 p.m. EST

The very last flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour is the last planned mission of the Shuttle program, which began service in 1981. She will deliver a Logistics Carrier, a high-pressure gas tank, micro-meteoroid debris shields and an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the ISS. One spacewalk is planned to mount the AMS to the integrated truss structure, and this may be the final EVA ever conducted by a Shuttle crew.

This final mission will mark the 134th flight of the Space Shuttle Orbiter, the 36th Shuttle trip to the ISS, and the 165th American manned launch.

Upon commencement of training in October 2009, mission commander Steven Lindsey handed over his chief astronaut position to Peggy Whitson. Whitson, who became the first female ISS commander in 2007 and holds the current American record for days in space (376), is also now the first woman to hold the position of Chief of the Astronaut Office.