Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The final Shuttle flights


Feb. 12 -- Discovery (STS-119 / 15A) will kick off a five-flight 2009
with its 36th mission to deliver the final pair of U.S. solar arrays
to be installed on the starboard end of the station's truss. The
truss serves as the backbone support for external equipment and spare
components, including the Mobile Base System. Lee Archambault will
command the 14-day flight that will include four planned spacewalks.
Joining him will be pilot Tony Antonelli and mission specialists John
Phillips, Steve Swanson, Joseph Acaba, Richard Arnold and Japan
Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will
replace Sandy Magnus on the station as a flight engineer. STS-119
marks the 28th shuttle flight to the station.

May 15 -- Endeavour (STS-127 / 2JA) sets sail on its 23rd mission with
the Japanese Kibo Laboratory's Exposed Facility and Experiment
Logistics Module Exposed Section, the final permanent components of
the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's contribution to the station
program. During the 15-day mission, Endeavour's crew will perform
five spacewalks and deliver six new batteries for the P6 truss, a
spare drive unit for the Mobile Transporter and a spare boom assembly
for the Ku-band antenna. Mark Polansky will be Endeavour's commander
with Doug Hurley as pilot. Mission specialists will be Christopher
Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Dave Wolf, Tim Kopra and Canadian Space
Agency astronaut Julie Payette. Kopra will become a station flight
engineer replacing Koichi Wakata, who will return home with the
STS-127 crew. It will be the 29th shuttle flight to the station.

July 30 -- Atlantis (STS-128 / 17A) launches on its 31st flight, an
11-day mission carrying science and storage racks to the station. In
the payload bay will be a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module holding
science and storage racks. Three spacewalks are planned to remove and
replace a materials processing experiment outside the European Space
Agency's Columbus module and return an empty ammonia tank assembly.
The mission includes the rotation of astronaut Nicole Stott for Tim
Kopra, who will return to Earth with the shuttle crew. The remaining
crew members have yet to be named. STS-128 marks the 30th shuttle
flight dedicated to station assembly and outfitting.

Oct. 15 -- Discovery's (STS-129 / ULF-3) 37th mission will focus on
staging spare components outside the station. The 15-day flight
includes at least three spacewalks. The payload bay will carry two
large External Logistics Carriers holding two spare gyroscopes, two
nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly,
a spare latching end effector for the station's robotic arm, a spare
trailing umbilical system for the Mobile Transporter and a
high-pressure gas tank. Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk
will return home aboard Discovery with its crew, which has yet to be
named. STS-129 marks the 31st shuttle mission devoted to station

Dec. 10 -- Endeavour (STS-130 / 20A) will close 2009 with its 24th
mission to deliver the final connecting node, Node 3, and the Cupola,
a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and
another in the center that provides a 360-degree view around the
station. At least three spacewalks are planned during the 11-day
mission. The 32nd station assembly mission by a shuttle does not yet
have a crew named.


Feb. 11 -- Atlantis (STS-131 / 19A) begins its 32nd mission as the
first flight in 2010, carrying a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module
filled with science racks that will be transferred to laboratories of
the station. The 11-day mission will include at least three
spacewalks to attach a spare ammonia tank assembly outside the
station and return a European experiment that has been outside the
Columbus module. It will be the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.
The crew has yet to be named.

April 8 -- Discovery's (STS-132 / ULF-4) 38th mission will carry an
integrated cargo carrier to deliver maintenance and assembly
hardware, including spare parts for space station systems. In
addition, the second in a series of new pressurized components for
Russia, a Mini Research Module, will be permanently attached to the
bottom port of the Zarya module. The Russian module also will carry
U.S. pressurized cargo. The first Russian Mini Research Module to go
to the station is scheduled to launch on a Russian rocket in the
summer of 2009.

Additionally, at least three spacewalks are planned to stage spare
components outside the station, including six spare batteries, a boom
assembly for the Ku-band antenna and spares for the Canadian Dextre
robotic arm extension. A radiator, airlock and European robotic arm
for the Russian Multi-purpose Laboratory Module also are payloads on
the flight. The laboratory module is scheduled for launch on a
Russian rocket in 2011. The mission marks the 34th mission to the
station. The STS-132 crew has yet to be named.

May 31 -- Endeavour's (STS-133 / ULF-5) 25th mission will carry
critical spare components that will be placed on the outside of the
station. Those will include two S-band communications antennas, a
high-pressure gas tank, additional spare parts for Dextre and
micrometeoroid debris shields. At least three spacewalks are planned
to be carried out by the crew, which has yet to be named. The 15-day
mission will be the 35th to the station.

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