Student Features

STS-132 Info Orb Text

STS-132 mission patch
STS-132 Mission Patch

The patch for the STS-132 space shuttle mission has the shuttle Atlantis heading toward the sunset. This represents that STS-132 is the last scheduled flight for the Atlantis orbiter. But the sun also represents the dawn for the Russian module that this mission carries. The MRM-1, or Mini Research Module, is named Rassvet -- the Russian word for dawn.
STS-132 crew
STS-132 Crew

The STS-132 crew members trained in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Commander Ken Ham holds the STS-132 mission logo. Also pictured (from the left) are NASA astronauts Piers Sellers, Garrett Reisman, mission specialists; Tony Antonelli, pilot; and Michael Good and Steve Bowen, mission specialists.
Space shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad
Good-bye, Atlantis!

Atlantis flew its first mission in 1985. In 1989, Atlantis carried the Magellan probe that travelled to Venus. Later, Atlantis carried Galileo, which travelled to Jupiter. In May 2009, Atlantis was the last shuttle to go to the Hubble Space Telescope. STS-132 is Atlantis' 32nd flight.

A diagram of the space station after ULF4

STS-132 is called a Utilization and Logistics Flight, or a ULF. The main purpose of a ULF is to deliver parts and cargo to the space station. STS-132 is taking the first Russian module to be delivered to the space station by a shuttle. Robotic arms that are attached to the space station will help to install the module.

Astronaut Ken Ham training for the mission
The Commander

Astronaut Ken Ham is the commander of the STS-132 mission. He was the pilot for STS-124, which carried a main part of the Japanese Kibo (kee BO) module to the space station. Ham is a U.S. Navy captain. He has logged over 5,000 flight hours in more than 40 different aircraft.

Three astronauts in a shuttle simulator
Training With a Simulator

STS-132 astronauts trained in the systems engineering simulator in the Avionics Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Here they simulate docking the space shuttle with the International Space Station.

Two astronauts wearing blue ponchos watch a third as he works with a power tool
Spacewalk Training

Astronauts Michael Good, Steve Bowen and Garrett Reisman participate in a tile repair training session. The tiles protect the space shuttle from heat. If something happens to one of the tiles, the astronauts will know how to fix it. These astronauts are spacewalkers for the STS-132 mission. Each will perform two spacewalks as they work in pairs.

Airplane with its nose pointed down over mountains
Space Shuttle Training Aircraft

The STS-132 crew practiced landing the shuttle using the Shuttle Training Aircraft. It is a Gulfstream-2 airplane that has been changed so it lands like the shuttle. Even the cockpit was changed to be like the shuttle's. The crew practices at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.

The STS-132 crew poses on top of an armored vehicle
M-113 Practice

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the STS-132 crew practiced driving the M-113 armored personnel carrier. In an emergency, they would escape the shuttle in baskets on slide wires. An M-113 sits near the launch pad to carry the astronauts to safety.

Screen showing HD broadcast of an astronaut from the space station
Live from Space

During STS-132, two astronauts will install a spare station-to-ground Ku-band antenna. This antenna lets the station crew downlink television and science data to Earth. The first live HDTV broadcast from space was shown on a huge screen in New York City's Times Square in 2006. Some missions have downlinks with schools, and students can ask the astronauts questions.

Diagram of the Rassvet module
Rassvet, the Mini Research Module-1

The Mini Research Module-1 is named Rassvet. MRM-1 will be attached to the Russian module Zarya. MRM-1 will add more storage space and a new docking port for Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. A Soyuz carries cosmonauts and astronauts to and from the space station. Progress is an unpiloted spacecraft that carries supplies to the station.

>  View interactive version