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00-069

For Release: November 22, 2000


Sally V. Harrington
Media Relations Office
(216) 433-2037
sally.harrington@grc.nasa.gov

Powering the Brightest New Star in the Sky, International Space Station

The cargo in the bay of Space Shuttle Endeavor, scheduled for launch on November 30, will enable the astronauts to flip the switch of the electrical power system so that research can begin on the International Space Station. After this mission, the size of the space station will make it the brightest new star in the sky.

Media are invited to NASA Glenn Research Center on Monday, November 27, for a briefing on the significant role Glenn plays in the electrical power system. The briefing will take place in Glenn's Visitor Center starting at 1:30 p.m. In addition, various pieces of hardware-parts of the electrical power system--that were designed, developed, built and/or tested at Glenn will be on display.

During the STS-97 mission, astronauts will install the first U.S. photovoltaic module on the space station. This first key element of the electrical power system includes solar arrays that each extend 115 feet and span 38 feet across, batteries and other power system electronics that will convert solar energy into electrical energy, store it, regulate it and distribute it.

The photovoltaic module was originally designed and developed at Glenn in the 1980's during the Space Station Freedom program. Glenn continues to support the electrical power system that will power the future by ensuring the energy needed to conduct experiments in science and technology onboard the International Space Station.

Glenn is the co-lead for station's electrical power system (EPS) in partnership with Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. In addition, as EPS co-subsystem manager, Glenn is responsible for the technical design and development of all the individual pieces of the EPS on station.

More information on the STS-97 mission and the International Space Station, can be found at:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov

Further information on Glenn's role in the electrical power system is available at:

http://space-power.grc.nasa.gov

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