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September 28, 2000

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(202) 358-1600<

Rob Navias
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
(281) 483-5111

Joel Wells
Kennedy Space Center, FL
(321) 867-2468

Release: H00-156

Discovery Liftoff Set Oct. 5 to Begin Space Station Build Up

NASA managers today set Oct. 5 as the launch date for Discovery on a mission that will initiate the heart of construction for the International Space Station (ISS), carrying aloft a nine-ton exterior framework and a three-ton docking port to be attached to the complex.

After the traditional Flight Readiness Review at the Kennedy Space Center, Oct. 5 was selected for the launch of the 100th Shuttle mission, designated STS-92. Discovery is targeted for a 9:38 p.m. EDT liftoff from Launch Pad 39-A at KSC during a launch window not to exceed five minutes in duration.

The exterior framework that will be attached to the expanding Station, called the Z1 truss, will house gyroscopes and communications equipment that will provide a future sense of balance for the outpost as well as enhanced voice and television capability. In addition, a conical mating adapter called Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 will be attached, providing an additional Shuttle docking port.

"The foundation for the International Space Station has been laid and this mission begins the true station build-up in orbit," Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore said. "With multiple spacewalks planned and multiple components to attach, we're taking the level of complexity up a notch over the past few station construction flights."

Discovery will be commanded by Brian Duffy (Col., USAF). Pam Melroy (Lt. Col., USAF) will serve as Pilot. Mission Specialists include Dr. Leroy Chiao, Bill McArthur (Col. USA), Dr. Jeff Wisoff, Mike Lopez-Alegria (Cdr., USN) and Koichi Wakata, representing NASDA, the Japanese Space Agency.

During the 11-day mission, Wakata will use the Shuttle's robotic arm to attach the framework and mating adapter to the station's Unity module. The other Mission Specialists will be divided into two spacewalking teams to conduct four planned spacewalks to provide electrical and data connectivity between the new components and the existing Station modules.

Discovery's flight will be the final Shuttle mission prior to the launch of the first resident, or Expedition crew to the ISS, currently targeted for Oct. 30 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan

Discovery is planned to land at about 4:50 p.m. EDT Oct. 16 at Kennedy Space Center.


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