STS-115 Info Orb Text
An artist conception of the ISS with the new trusses and solar panels in place. The words Return to Assembly STS-115 and the mission patch are at the bottom.

The main goal of the STS-115 space shuttle mission is to continue building the International Space Station. The astronauts have three scheduled spacewalks. They will install and activate the trusses and solar arrays. They will also do other tasks.
The STS-115 crew poses next to the Crew Compartment Trainer with a large version of their mission patch

The crew of space shuttle mission STS-115 is, from the left, Joseph Tanner, Daniel Burbank, Brent W. Jett Jr., Christopher Ferguson, Steven MacLean and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper.
Astronaut Brent Jett in orange launch and entry suit suspended in a parachute harness

STS-115 commander Brent W. Jett Jr. practices an emergency bailout.
Astronaut Chris Ferguson sitting in a simulation of a pilot's station in one of the full-scale space shuttle trainers

Pilot Chris Ferguson trains for the STS-115 mission in a shuttle full-scale trainer.
Astronaut Joseph Tanner crouching on a platform looks at the front of the space shuttle

Mission specialist Joseph Tanner inspects the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Astronaut Daniel Burbank studies a piece of spacewalk safety equipment

Mission specialist Daniel Burbank looks over the Simplified Aid for Extravehicular Activity Rescue, or SAFER, equipment. SAFER is a jetpack-like device used in case the astronaut becomes detached from the spacecraft during a spacewalk.
Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper poses in a bulky white spacesuit

Mission specialist Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper wears an Extravehicular Mobility Unit suit. She will perform two of the three extravehicular activities, or spacewalks, that are scheduled for the STS-115 mission.
Astronaut Steven MacLean studies crew notes while sitting in a shuttle trainer

Mission specialist Steven MacLean of the Canadian Space Agency reviews notes in the shuttle crew compartment trainer. He will operate the robotic Canadarm2 that will be used to install new trusses.
A group of NASA workers help astronaut Joseph Tanner as he stands in a bulky white space suit next to a large pool of water

Mission Specialist Joseph Tanner prepares to go underwater in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory near Johnson Space Center. To protect them from the environment of space, astronauts wear a space suit called the Extravehicular Mobility Unit during spacewalks.
Three astronauts stand observing a computer monitor during a simulation in the systems engineering simulator

Astronauts spend time working in simulators to prepare for the tasks they will complete on their mission.
Illustration of the space station with the new trusses and solar arrays highlighted

A computer image of the ISS depicts the solar arrays deployed on the new truss, with a wingspan of almost 240 feet. The arrays stay pointed toward the sun for optimal power generation.
>  View interactive version