STS-116 -- Mission Patch Explorer Game
Read below to learn more about the STS-116 mission patch.
Space Shuttle Discovery will take the STS-116 crew to the International Space Station. The 12A.1 refers to the mission's order in the sequence of U.S. station assembly flights. This mission will deliver a fourth port truss segment, P5. The truss is like a support beam or girder for the station. The P5 segment will connect to the P3 and P4 trusses, which STS-115 delivered in September 2006.
U.S. and Swedish Flags
The flags represent the nationalities of the crewmembers on the STS-116 space shuttle mission.
Six of the crewmembers are U.S. citizens.
One crewmember, Christer Fuglesang, is from Sweden.
Big Dipper and North Star
The seven stars of the constellation Ursa Major, which form the Big Dipper, point toward the North Star.
The North Star is on top of the spot where the P5 truss will be installed on the International Space Station. The truss is like a support beam or girder for the station.
ISS: International Space Station
The space shuttle must make 14 more assembly flights, including this mission, to complete the International Space Station. The ISS has been running on a temporary electrical system since 1998, when the station went into orbit.
The previous assembly flight installed two solar array panels that generate electricity. The STS-116 crew will connect a new electrical system to those solar panels.
Mark Polansky is the commander of the STS-116 space shuttle mission. He joined NASA in 1992 as an aerospace engineer. Polansky was selected as an astronaut in 1996. He was the pilot for the STS-98 space shuttle mission in 2001.
During the STS-116 mission, Polansky and his crew will rewire the space station. The rewiring will almost double the electrical power available on the station.
Bill Oefelein is the pilot for the STS-116 space shuttle mission.
He has logged over 3,000 hours in more than 50 aircraft.
He became an astronaut in 1998.
This flight on Space Shuttle Discovery is his first mission into space.
Nicholas Patrick is a mission specialist.
He was born in the United Kingdom.
He became a U.S. citizen in 1994 and began astronaut training in 1998.
He has a doctorate in mechanical engineering.
STS-116 is his first mission into space.
Joan Higginbotham is a mission specialist. She began work at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 1987 as an electrical engineer. While at KSC, she supported 53 space shuttle launches as a part of her job. In 1996, she applied and was selected as an astronaut. On STS-116, she will operate the Space Station Remote Manipulator System, which is also known as the Canadarm2. STS-116 is her first shuttle mission.
Christer Fuglesang is a mission specialist from the European Space Agency, or ESA. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Fuglesang was selected to the ESA Astronaut Corps in 1992. He came to NASA in 1996 for mission specialist training. During the 12-day STS-116 space shuttle mission, he will perform two spacewalks. This mission is Fuglesang's first flight into space.
Bob Curbeam is a mission specialist. NASA selected Curbeam for astronaut training in 1994. He has flown on two shuttle missions: STS-85 in 1997 and STS-98 in 2001. On these missions, Curbeam spent a total of 593 hours in space, including 19 hours on three spacewalks. He will also perform three spacewalks during STS-116 mission.
Sunita Williams became an astronaut in 1998. The STS-116 space shuttle mission is her first flight into space. She will work with the robotic arms on the shuttle and the International Space Station. She will also perform a spacewalk.
When the space shuttle leaves the ISS, Williams will remain as a member of the Expedition 14 crew. She will stay on the station and become a member of Expedition 15 when that crew arrives on a Soyuz spacecraft in March 2007. When the other two members of Expedition 14 depart on the Soyuz, she will be the only U.S. citizen on the space station.
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