The Space Shuttle Endeavour is set to launch Nov. 11 on a mission that will carry the International Space Station (ISS) into its third year of permanent occupancy with a new crew and a new, 14-ton truss segment to enhance future cooling and power systems.
Endeavour will launch between midnight and 4 a.m. EST from NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida. A precise launch time will be announced about 24 hours before liftoff. The Nov. 11 launch provides the current ISS crew time to prepare for the STS-113 crew's arrival after the visiting Soyuz taxi crew departs Nov. 9.
"Endeavour's flight will complete a year for the Shuttle program that has included a complex overhaul of the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as, four flights to add over 45 tons of components to the International Space Station," Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore said. "The Shuttle team's achievements are remarkable and they have done a great job getting Endeavour ready to go."
Endeavour will launch the sixth station crew, designated Expedition 6 - Commander Ken Bowersox (Capt., USN), Russian Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit (Ph.D.). The current station crew, Expedition 5 - Russian Commander Valery Korzun (Col., Russian Air Force), NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson (Ph.D.) and Russian Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev - has been in orbit since June 5 and will return to Earth aboard Endeavour.
Endeavour also will carry the Station's first port integrated truss segment, designated Port One (P1). Together with the Starboard One (S1) truss installed in October, the P1 truss will provide additional station cooling and support for a massive power system that ultimately will hold almost an acre of solar panels to fuel a complex of orbiting laboratories. The P1 truss also includes the second of two human-powered railcars, called Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) carts, to allow spacewalkers to quickly traverse a railway atop the truss.
Jim Wetherbee (Capt., USN) will command Endeavour, and Paul Lockhart (Lt. Col., USAF) will serve as pilot. Mission specialists will be Michael Lopez-Alegria (Capt., USN) and John Herrington (Cmdr., USN). Lopez-Alegria and Herrington will conduct three spacewalks during STS-113 to install and outfit the new truss structure and spacewalk work platform. Dual robotic operations, employing both Endeavour's robotic Canadarm and the Station's Canadarm2, will be used to install the P1 truss.
Endeavour is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center Nov. 21. STS-113 will be the 19th flight for Endeavour and the 112th in Shuttle history.
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