STS-117 -- InfoOrb Text
The STS-117 space shuttle mission will continue construction of the International Space Station. The mission patch highlights the area of the station where the astronauts will install new components. The station is scheduled to be finished in 2010.
The crewmembers of STS-117 are (from the left) Clay Anderson, ISS Expedition 15 crewmember; Jim Reilly, Steven Swanson, mission specialists; Rick Sturckow, commander; Lee Archambault, pilot; Patrick Forrester, John "Danny" Olivas, mission specialists. They will fly aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis.
STS-117 commander Rick Sturckow prepares for the mission by practicing in the space shuttle crew compartment trainer.
The STS-117 crew will install two elements on the International Space Station. The first is the S3/S4 truss, or backbone, segment with a photovoltaic radiator. The second element is a set of solar arrays and batteries. The radiators, arrays and batteries are all part of the electrical power system.
The "S" in S3/S4 truss, or backbone, segment indicates that this section is on the starboard, or right side, of the space station when facing forward. The truss segments are attachment points for components such as solar arrays and thermal control radiators.
STS-117 will install another solar array on the International Space Station. Each array is covered with 32,800 solar cells that convert sunlight to electrical power. When the station is finished, the arrays will provide 110 kilowatts of power.
Mission specialist Steven Swanson suits up to train in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, near NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The NBL is a 202-by-102-foot pool where the astronauts train for spacewalks. Astronauts perform the same tasks underwater that they will outside the International Space Station.
Professional trainers make sure the astronauts understand every task, system and piece of equipment. Trainers are some of the hundreds of people working together before and during a mission to ensure that everything goes as planned.
Before the STS-117 crewmembers install components in space, they practice in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, near NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Training in the large pool simulates the microgravity they experience in space. Divers assist the astronauts.
When the space station is in the sunlight, its solar panels provide power. When the station is in Earth's shadow, nickel-hydrogen batteries provide the power. The STS-117 crew will install two sets of 38 rechargeable battery cells.
The photovoltaic radiators keep the space station's power systems cool. The seven-panel radiator removes the extra heat by circulating fluid and releasing the heat into space. The STS-117 crew will install a radiator.
> View interactive version