STS-116 -- Mission to the International Space Station
The crew of space shuttle mission STS-116 has completed its mission! The commander of the mission was Mark Polansky. Bill Oefelein was the pilot. The mission specialists were Bob Curbeam, Joan Higginbotham, Nicholas Patrick and Christer Fuglesang. Flight engineer Sunita Williams was also on the flight. She stayed on the International Space Station as part of the Expedition 14 and 15 crews.
The crew of STS-116 designed a mission patch. The mission patch shows important parts of the mission. The names of the astronauts are around the edge of the patch. It also shows the space shuttle rising above the Earth and the station. Astronaut Christer Fuglesang is from Sweden. The other astronauts are American. To show this, the Swedish flag and the U.S. flag trail behind the shuttle on the patch.
During training, commander Mark Polansky and pilot Bill Oefelein practiced for the mission in a shuttle simulator.
Mission specialists Christer Fuglesang and Bob Curbeam practiced spacewalking underwater. They did this training in a large pool of water. The pool is located at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at Johnson Space Center.
Astronaut Nicholas Patrick trained in the crew compartment trainer. It is a full-size working model of the space shuttle. The astronauts use the trainer to practice what they will do in space.
Astronauts Sunita Williams and Joan Higginbotham used the virtual reality lab at Johnson Space Center in Houston to train for the mission. This training prepared them for working on the space station.
Before their mission, the STS-116 crewmembers tasted different kinds of space food. This taste test helped them pick which foods they wanted to take on the mission. The crewmembers had to select all of their meals before they launched.
All of this training helped the STS-116 crew complete a successful mission.
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