Two cornerstone components for future research and operations aboard the International Space Station are ready to begin integrated testing at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
The European-built, NASA-owned "Node 2" and the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Pressurized Module will be linked up on the ground for a trial run, before they are launched to join the orbiting Space Station complex.
"We were all very pleased to see the two modules together in the Space Station Processing Facility today," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's Station Program Manager. "Our teamwork and dedication to continuing the assembly of the Station shines through when a key milestone such as this is realized."
International Space Station Partner Program managers and representatives met at KSC this week to welcome the modules to the United States and to officially sign over ownership of Node 2 from the European Space Agency (ESA) to NASA. Node 2 was built for NASA under a barter agreement with ESA. In exchange for Node 2, NASA will launch the European Columbus Laboratory on board a future Space Shuttle mission to the Space Station.
The arrival at KSC of the JEM and its lifeline to the Space Station, Node 2, coincided, so NASA can conduct multi-element, integrated testing of the modules in the Space Station Processing Facility before they are prepared for launch.
The ground tests will validate the compatibility of the modules in distributing power and system resources between the research facilities. The installation of NASA's Node 2 will signify the completion of the American portion of the International Space Station, known as U.S. Core Complete. For information about the NASA, human space flight and the International Space Station on the Internet, visit: http://www.nasa.gov
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