STS-121 -- Getting Ready to Fly

Seven astronauts in their orange shuttle launch and entry suits pose in front of the Discovery orbiter
Image above: The STS-121 Crew
Credit: NASA


The STS-121 crew takes a break from training to pose for their group portrait. From left to right, the astronauts are: Stephanie Wilson, Michael Fossum, Steven Lindsey, Piers Sellers, Mark Kelly, Thomas Reiter of Germany, and Lisa Nowak.

Reiter will ride along with the crew. They will leave him at the space station.
The names of the STS-121 crewmembers surround the edge of a black octagonal-shaped patch. White outline drawings of the space shuttle and space station are on top of gold lines connecting to a gold star in the middle of the patch.
Image above: The STS-121 Crew Patch
Credit: NASA


Each crew designs a mission patch. The STS-121 crew's patch shows the space shuttle docked with the International Space Station. The astronauts' symbol, three gold lines connected to a gold star, is behind the ISS. The names of the STS-121 crewmembers surround the edge of the patch.
Two female astronauts work at a computer station
Image above: Astronauts Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson train for the STS-121 mission. Credit: NASA

The crew of space shuttle Discovery will have a lot to do once they take off. They will test new equipment and take supplies to the ISS.

Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson are training for the jobs they will do in space.

A man wearing a flightsuit and helmet sits in the cockpit of a jet
Image above: Mark Kelly is the pilot of the STS-121 mission. Credit: NASA

Mark Kelly is getting ready for a flight in a NASA T-38 trainer jet.

Astronauts fly in these jets to practice piloting the space shuttle.

An astronaut's face is almost completely covered by the goggles of the virtual reality mask he is wearing
Image above: Using virtual reality tools helps Michael Fossum get ready for working in space. Credit: NASA

Michael Fossum uses virtual reality tools to practice for jobs he will do on the ISS. He wears goggles containing small computer screens to help him see the work he will do in space.

An astronaut in a bulky white space suit hangs sideways in the air from a piece of equipment that is helping him practice for a real spacewalk
Image above: Piers Sellers seems to be floating, but he is really training for the spacewalk he will make once he reaches the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Piers Sellers wears a training model of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit space suit. He is practicing for the spacewalks he will do during the STS-121 mission.
An astronaut sits in a space vehicle simulator wearing an orange shuttle launch and entry suit and a large helmet
Image above: Steven Lindsey is the commander of the STS-121 mission. Credit: NASA

Steven Lindsey sits in the commander's station during mission training.
An astronaut in an orange shuttle launch and entry suit and white helmet slides down an inflatable yellow escape slide
Image above: Part of training for a mission is learning what to do in case of an emergency. Michael Fossum is learning how to use the crew escape slide. Credit: NASA

Michael Fossum uses the crew escape slide during training. This will help him know what to do in case there is an emergency on the shuttle.
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