Kids Feature

STS-121 -- Getting Ready to Fly

The STS-121 astronauts are Stephanie Wilson, Michael Fossum, Steven Lindsey, Piers Sellers, Mark Kelly and Lisa Nowak.

Thomas Reiter will ride along with the crew. He is from Germany. They will leave him at the space station.

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.

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 to use the space shuttle and space station robotic arms during the mission.

Mark Kelly is the pilot for the STS-121 mission. He has spent lots of time flying in a NASA T-38 trainer jet. Astronauts fly in these jets to practice piloting the space shuttle.

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.

Piers Sellers practices for the spacewalks he will do during the STS-121 mission. He wears a training model of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit space suit.

Steven Lindsey is the commander for the STS-121 mission.

The crew practices using the crew escape slide during training. This will help them know what to do in case there is an emergency on the shuttle.
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