Space Station's Tranquility
Node 3 Tranquility

Image above: In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, an overhead crane lowers the Tranquility module, or Node 3, toward a work stand. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann
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The Node 3 module, also known as Tranquility, will be one of the last components added to the International Space Station.

The pressurized section will provide additional room for crew members and many of the space station's life support and environmental control systems already on board. These systems include air revitalization, oxygen generation and water recycling. A waste and hygiene compartment and a treadmill also will be relocated from other areas of the station.

Tranquility's connection point on the station will be on the Earth-facing side of the Unity node. The new component will provide an additional docking point for space shuttles and other crew vehicles visiting the station. Attached to the node will be Cupola, a unique work module with six windows on the sides and one on top.

Tranquility was built for NASA by Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, under contract to the European Space Agency. Spanning 21 feet in length, 14 feet in diameter, and weighing more than 27,000 pounds, the node was delivered to Kennedy Space Center aboard an Airbus "Beluga" aircraft in May 2009.

Both Tranquility and Cupola will be joined to the station during space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission, as construction of the orbiting outpost draws to a close.

For more information on Cupola and other space station components check out the Space Station Processing Facility's Observation Deck.
Cheryl L. Mansfield
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center