Feature

Cosmic Corridor -- STS-118
08.06.07
 

 
The STS-118 mission patch
STS-118 Mission Patch
The STS-118 patch represents Space Shuttle Endeavour on its mission to help complete the International Space Station. The patch symbolizes the pursuit of knowledge through space exploration. The flight will accomplish its ISS 13A.1 assembly tasks through a series of spacewalks and robotic operations. On the patch, the top of the gold astronaut symbol overlays the starboard S-5 truss segment. This segment will be installed during the mission. The flame of knowledge represents the importance of education, and honors teachers and students everywhere. The seven white stars and the red maple leaf signify the American and Canadian crewmembers, respectively, flying aboard Endeavour.
 
The STS-118 crew poses behind a table with two cakes



Cake-cutting Ceremony
The crew of the STS-118 mission celebrated the end of their formal training with a cake-cutting ceremony. Pictured from the left are mission specialist Rick Mastracchio; pilot Charlie Hobaugh; commander Scott Kelly; and mission specialists Alvin Drew, Dave Williams of the Canadian Space Agency, Tracy Caldwell and Barbara Morgan.
 
Commander Scott Kelly holds a camera as he looks at a piece of equipment



Commander Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly, the commander of the STS-118 space shuttle mission, holds a camera during training in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He and the rest of the crew visited KSC to become familiar with equipment for their mission. The mission will deliver the third starboard truss segment, the S5 truss, to the International Space Station.


 
Astronaut Charlie Hobaugh enters a NASA T-38 trainer jet



Pilot Charlie Hobaugh
Astronaut Charlie Hobaugh is the STS-118 pilot. He has logged more than 3,000 hours in 40 different aircraft. He was also the pilot of the STS-104 space shuttle mission in 2001. On the STS-118 mission, Hobaugh will pilot Space Shuttle Endeavour on the 119th space shuttle flight.


 
Mission specialist Barbara Morgan talks with students



Morgan With Students
Mission specialist Barbara Morgan, the first Educator Astronaut, spoke with students at “Meet an Astronaut Day” in Houston, Texas. As a fully trained and qualified astronaut, Morgan has specific assignments as a mission specialist. She is one of the robotic arm operators during the mission.
 
Some members of the STS-118 crew taste orange-pineapple drink



Food Testing
Besides training for the mission, astronauts also assisted in planning their menus. Before leaving Earth, crewmembers participate in food testing at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Astronauts score the foods based upon how well they like them. Their favorite foods are added to their menu for the mission.
 
Astronaut Rick Mastracchio wears virtual reality goggles and gloves during training



Virtual Reality Training
Mission specialist Rick Mastracchio used virtual reality equipment to practice some of the tasks he will perform during the STS-118 shuttle mission. During this type of training, astronauts wear special gloves and other gear while looking at computer displays. This allows them to simulate tasks they will perform in space. Astronauts can virtually interact with the International Space Station equipment they will use on the mission.
 
Three astronauts in training versions of orange shuttle launch and entry suits sit in a shuttle simulator with astronaut Hire standing behind them



Mockup Training
Astronauts Alvin Drew, Barbara Morgan and Canadian Space Agency's Dave Williams participated in a training session in one of the full-scale simulators at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Wearing training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits, the three sat on the middeck. Astronaut Kay Hire assisted them.
 
Photos of basil plants growing in small, collapsible plant growth chambers similar to the ones on the STS-118 mission


NASA Engineering Design Challenge
As part of the STS-118 space shuttle mission, students can design and build plant growth chambers that could be used on the moon. The STS-118 crew is taking two plant growth chambers and 10 million basil seeds into space. Educators will be able to obtain packets of the seeds for classroom use. The seeds can be planted in the plant growth chambers designed and built by the students. NASA wants students to experiment to see if there is a difference in the way seeds flown in space grow compared to seeds that have not flown.
 
An STS-118 poster with photos that represent the mission



Build the Future
The STS-118 space shuttle mission is about the future -- putting the International Space Station a step closer to completion. Mission specialist Barbara Morgan, the first Educator Astronaut, will be making her first spaceflight to inspire the next generation. The mission will provide experiences that will help people return to the moon and go on to Mars.
 
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