STS-127 Mission Patch
STS-127 Cosmic Corridor
Mission STS-127 is the 29th space shuttle construction flight to the International Space Station. The patch shows a crescent shape for Earth. Shuttle Endeavour flies over the three rays of the astronaut symbol. A golden star stands for Japan’s space agency. The crew members’ names border the patch. A maple leaf is beside the name of the Canadian astronaut.
The STS-127 crew members are Commander Mark Polansky, seated on the right side of the patch, and Pilot Doug Hurley, on the left. Standing, from left to right, are astronauts Dave Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, the Canadian Space Agency's Julie Payette, Tom Marshburn and Tim Kopra, all mission specialists.
International Space Station Configuration
The STS-127 mission will install the last two parts of the Japanese Experiment Module. The module is named Kibo (kee bo). STS-127 will carry and install two platforms outside of Kibo. One platform is permanent and will serve as a type of porch for experiments that require direct exposure to space.
Waiting to Launch
Space shuttle Endeavour (on the left) was on Launch Pad 39B while Atlantis was on Pad 39A ready to launch for the STS-125 mission. Atlantis launched May 11, 2009, to take the STS-125 crew to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Endeavour was ready to launch in case there was a problem with Atlantis. It was moved to Pad 39A when Atlantis returned safely.
Kibo is the Japanese word for "hope." The experiment module has six parts. Japanese astronauts will experiment in space medicine, biology, Earth observations, material production, biotechnology and communications research in the Kibo module.
Experiments on the Exposed Facility of the Kibo module will be in the vacuum of space. The inside of the space station has air pressure. Experiments exposed to space may have different results than the same ones done inside. Experiments will sit on the exposed section, or ELM-ES, as if it were a front porch for the space station.
The STS-127 crew will install six new batteries on the P6 truss. The P in "P6" means that this solar array is on the port, or left side, of the space station. The 6 in "P6" means that this array is in the sixth section of the station trusses. Astronauts will make five spacewalks to install the last parts of Kibo and to install the battery and other parts.
The STS-127 crew participates in a food-tasting session. Before the 16-day mission, each crew member selects his or her own menu by tasting and rating foods. NASA dieticians help plan the menus.
Water Survival Training
Before the launch, the crew practiced survival training in a huge pool called the Neutral Buoyancy Lab. The Advanced Crew Escape Suit, or ACES, contains many tools, including a one-person life raft.
A Long Mission
The STS-127 mission is taking astronaut Tim Kopra to live on the space station. Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will return from the station with the crew of STS-127. The mission also will carry pieces of hardware to the station. To accomplish these tasks, astronauts will take five spacewalks, use four robotic arms and work 16 days from launch to landing.
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