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Nasa Facts STS-97

Nasa Facts STS-97

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Apr 15, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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National Aeronautics andSpace Administration
John F. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899AC 321 867-2468
October 2000KSC Release No. 94-00
Shuttle to Power Up Orbiting Station with Help from the Sun
Powering up the enormous orbiting InternationalSpace Station (ISS) will be the primary objective of thefive-member crew aboard STS-97. Two of the eightgiant solar arrays will be carried aboard the P6Integrated Truss Segment and will be the first part ofa system that ultimately will deliver 60 times morepower to the ISS research facilities than was possibleon Russia's Mir. The P6 Truss Segment, containing thesolar arrays and the batteries, will be temporarilyinstalled to the Unity connecting module by the Z1Truss recently launched aboard STS-92.Each 108.6-ft. long solar array wings will extendoutward at right angles and be connected to theStation’s 310-ft. long truss. Altogether, they will coveran area about the size of an acre, and when fullyextended, will span about 240 feet, the largestdeployable structure ever built.An array consists of two solar cell “blankets,” oneon either side of a telescoping mast that extends andretracts to form the solar array wing. The mast turnson a gimbal or device to level the arrays and keep itfacing the sun.There are a total of four pairs of wings,each with two arrays measuring 112 feet long by 39feet wide, and along with its assemblies are called a“photo-voltaic module.The most powerful solar arrays ever to orbit Earthwill capture the sun’s elusive energy and begin theprocess of converting it into power for the Station.The arrays will supply 105 kilowatts - enough tolight a town - and will connect the labs, living quarters,payloads and systems equipment.To complete this daunting task, Mission SpecialistsCarlos Noriega and Joseph Tanner will perform twospacewalks to install the solar array connections.The crew will also install batteries to providepower when the Station is in Earth’s shadow, aboutone-third of every orbit, to compensate for the timethe Station will spend in darkness. The batteries willstore energy gathered by the solar arrays during thesunlit portion of time and will supply the energy topower the Station.This mission, STS-97, will have the challenge ofcatching up to and docking with an inhabitedInternational Space Station traveling more than 17,000miles per hour. Three crew members, launched earlierfrom Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a RussianSoyuz rocket, will greet the visitors of STS-97 andwelcome them as guests to the Station.Bill Shepard, Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidznekomake up the Station's first crew and begin thepreparations for a five-month stay that will mark thebeginning of continuous habitation of the Space Station.The Soyuz spacecraft will stay docked to the Station toserve as a Crew Return Vehicle in case of a medical or
KSC FORM 2-203NS (REV. 11/92)

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