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NASA Facts STS-115 Fact Sheet

NASA Facts STS-115 Fact Sheet

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Apr 15, 2011
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04/15/2011

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration
STS-115 Fact Sheet
The on-orbit construction of the InternationalSpace Station returns to full speed when spaceshuttle
 Atlantis
 
and the STS-115 crew visit theorbital outpost. During the mission, which isdesignated as Station Assembly Flight 12A,
 Atlantis
 
will deliver a piece of the station’sintegrated truss structure and other keycomponents.STS-115’s crew will conduct three spacewalks toinstall hardware and outfit the new P3/P4 trusssection, preparing it for operation. Another task forthe STS-115 crew is the inspection of the Atlantisheat shield. The six-member shuttle crew will alsoconduct joint operations with the Expedition 13crew and transfer cargo between the spacestation and
 Atlantis
.STS-115 will be the 116th space shuttle missionand the 19th to visit the space station.
 Atlantis
 
willbe making its 27th flight and sixth trip to thestation.
The Truss
The P3/P4 structure will be attached to the P1truss, which was delivered to the space stationduring STS-113 in the fall of 2002. The new set ofphotovoltaic solar arrays will increase the powercapability of the station. The new segment is 45.3feet long and weighs 34,885 pounds.The solar arrays on the P4 truss will be unfurledon flight day 6. The full length of the arrays is 240feet. The arrays will provide additional power forthe station in preparation for the delivery ofinternational science modules. The 82 active arrayblankets contain a total of 16,400 individual siliconphotovoltaic cells to convert sunlight intoelectricity.The P3/P4 truss also contains a device called theSolar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ). This device willbe joined to the end of the P5 truss once it isdelivered on the STS-116 mission and the P6truss, which will be relocated on the STS-120mission. The SARJ will rotate 360 degrees eitherclockwise or counterclockwise to position the P4and P6 solar arrays to track the sun for electricalpower generation.Once completed, the integrated truss structurewill span more than 300 feet and carry power,data and environmental services for the station.
The Crew
The six-member STS-115 crew is composed of amixture of veterans and first-time space travelers.Brent Jett, a captain in the U.S. Navy, iscommanding his second shuttle mission. Heserved as pilot on STS-72 in 1996 and STS-81 in1997. He then commanded STS-97 in 2000, amission that delivered the first set of solar arraysto the station and the first shuttle mission to visitan expedition crew.Chris Ferguson, who is making his first spaceflight, is the STS-115 pilot. He is a captain in theNavy.Joe Tanner is a mission specialist for STS-115. Heis a veteran of three flights, logging more than 742hours in space. He flew on STS-66 in 1994,STS-82 in 1997 and STS-97 with Jett. He hasconducted five spacewalks. Tanner is scheduledto conduct two spacewalks during STS-115.
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 www.nasa.gov
 

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