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For Release: December 7, 1998

Bob Allen
(757) 864-6176

RELEASE NO. 98-093B

NASA's BIGGEST CHALLENGE

Space Station Assembly Complexities Explained

Last week's launch of the space shuttle Endeavour marked a turning point in space history. It carried the first U.S. piece of the International Space Station. This week, astronauts are in the process of linking Endeavour's payload, the U.S.-built Unity connecting module, to the Russian-built Zarya control module that was launched last month.

The enormous International Space Station, orbiting 240 miles above the earth, is NASA's most challenging undertaking yet. Over the next six years, 36 shuttle missions and nine Russian rockets will haul about 100 components into space to complete construction. Total weight of all those parts is about one million pounds.

How are scientists from the U.S. and 15 other countries working to put the International Space Station together?

Join Langley researcher Pat Troutman at the NASA Langley Research Center's Pearl Young Theater on Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. to find out.

Troutman is the leader of Langley's International Space Station Work Group, Spacecraft and Sensors Branch. He was part of a Langley team that came up with the concept for the Unity module back in 1986. Langley researchers also determined how the module would dock with the control module.

Troutman will be available for interviews before or after his presentation. Video B-roll including space station animation will be available.

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