STS-134 -- Mission Patch Explorer Game
Read below to learn about the STS-134 mission patch.
Atom With Orbiting Electrons
The STS-134 mission patch is shaped like the symbol for an atom. This mission will carry an experiment that will look for objects in the universe that are smaller than atoms. It is a machine that will look for antimatter. Antimatter is matter with its electrical charge reversed. So a positron is an electron with a positive charge instead of a negative charge.
This is the 134th mission of the Space Shuttle Program. It is the last voyage of Endeavour. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, is an important experiment that STS-134 will carry. More than 600 people in 56 universities and science organizations from 16 countries worked to create the AMS.
Endeavour is the newest orbiter in the space shuttle fleet. It was built to replace Challenger. Its first flight was in 1992. STS-134 is the 25th mission for Endeavour.
Space Station Over the Limb of Earth
The International Space Station flies over the limb of Earth. In this area, the curve of Earth touches the edge of the atmosphere. On the patch, the station flying in this area represents a new day for the space station. It represents the completion of the station and the beginning of new discoveries.
The burst represents the big bang. Scientists use the big bang as a model to explain how the universe began. The AMS experiment that STS-134 carries to the station will allow scientists to study cosmic rays and antimatter. These are particles that come from space to Earth. Studying these rays helps scientists understand how the universe began.
Commander Mark Kelly leads the 14-day mission to the International Space Station. STS-134 is the 35th mission to the station. The crew will deliver spare parts and a physics experiment. They also will test a new system for docking to the space station. Four spacewalks are planned for the mission. Kelly is in charge of safety during spacewalks. He will watch to make sure nothing comes untethered from the station.
Greg H. Johnson
Greg Johnson is the pilot of STS-134. The pilot assists the commander and watches the gauges and systems on the shuttle. Johnson is also the lead robotic arm operator. Both the station and the shuttle have robotic arms. The crew uses the robotic arms to move large pieces of equipment from the shuttle to their new places on the station. Astronauts can ride on the ends of the robotic arms during a spacewalk.
In 2008, Greg Chamitoff (SHAM-eh-tawf) spent 183 days in space and on the International Space Station. On STS-134, Chamitoff will perform two spacewalks. On one, he will bring two experiments into the station and take others outside. On the second, he will move the boom from the shuttle to the station. The boom is an arm on the end of the robotic arm. The boom will increase the length of the station arm.
Although Mike Fincke (fink) has logged a total of 365 days, 21 hours and 32 minutes in orbit, STS-134 is his first trip on the shuttle. On other missions, he flew to the space station on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. On this mission, he is helping launch and land the shuttle. Fincke also will perform two of the four spacewalks. He will fill station radiators with ammonia and add a handle to the station's robotic arm.
Roberto Vittori (vi-TORE-ee) is a robotic arm operator on the STS-134 mission. The robotic arm operator manipulates the hand controllers for the space shuttle robotic arm. One of his jobs is to move the 15,000-pound Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment from the shuttle to the station. He will pass the AMS from the shuttle arm to the station arm.
Drew Feustel (FOYS-tuhl) is the lead spacewalker. He is performing three spacewalks. He will test a new way to prepare for them. It is called ISLE, for In-Suit Light Exercise protocol. Instead of sleeping in the airlock, on spacewalk morning astronauts put on the spacesuit in the airlock. They lower the airlock pressure and breathe pure oxygen while they exercise in the suits. This removes nitrogen from their blood.
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