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NASA Facts STS-120 Providing a Connection to Research for the World

NASA Facts STS-120 Providing a Connection to Research for the World

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Apr 15, 2011
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National Aeronautics and Space Administration
      N      A      S      A
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STS-120: Providing a Connectionto Research for the World
Space Shuttle
Discovery 
and the STS-120 crewwill set the stage or expansion o the InternationalSpace Station’s scientic research and powergeneration capabilities. STS-120, known as Station Assembly Mission 10A, will also deliver a new crewmember to the orbital outpost.
Discovery 
will carry the Harmony Node 2connecting module to the station. The crew willuse robotic arms and conduct spacewalks toinstall Harmony, which will be the rst pressurizedmodule added to the station since September 2001.Harmony’s addition sets the stage or the arrival onew research laboratories rom the European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agencyin upcoming assembly missions.To increase the station’s capacity to generatepower, the STS-120 astronauts will relocate thePort 6 (P6) truss segment and solar arrays romthe Zenith 1 (Z1) truss atop the station to the endo the Port 5 truss. Then, the P6’s arrays will beredeployed and reactivated. Astronaut Daniel Tani will travel to the stationaboard
Discovery 
. He will replace astronautClayton Anderson as a fight engineer on the orbitaloutpost. Anderson will return to Earth with STS-120,wrapping up a tour o duty on the station that beganin June 2007.STS-120 is scheduled to be a 14-day mission withve scheduled spacewalks. It will be the 120thshuttle fight and 23rd to visit the space station.
 
Crew
Pam Melroy is the commander o the seven-member crew. Theretired U.S. Air Force colonel is a veteran o two shuttle fightsto the space station – STS-92 and STS-112 – during which sheserved as pilot.Melroy holds a bachelor o science in physics and astronomydegree rom Wellesley College and a master o science degreein Earth and planetary sciences rom the Massachusetts Instituteo Technology (MIT). Melroy was an Air Force test pilot and haslogged more than 5,000 hours in 45 dierent aircrat. Rochester,N.Y., is Melroy’s hometown.STS-120’s pilot is U.S. Marine Corps Col. George Zamka. Thiswill be Zamka’s rst space fight. He was born in Jersey City,N.J., and raised in New York City. Zamka received a bachelor oscience degree in mathematics rom the U.S. Naval Academyand a master o science degree in engineering managementrom the Florida Institute o Technology. Zamka, a test pilot, haslogged more than 4,000 hours in 30-plus aircrat. He has alsofown 66 combat missions.STS-120 will have a total o six mission specialists -- ScottParazynski, U.S. Army Col. Doug Wheelock, Stephanie Wilson,Daniel Tani, Clayton Anderson and Paolo Nespoli, who is romItaly and representing the European Space Agency (ESA).Parazynski is a veteran space traveler with our space shuttlemissions and three spacewalks to his credit. His previous fightsinclude STS-66, STS-86, STS-95 and STS-100, which delivered arobotic arm, Canadarm2, to the space station. Parazynski holdsa bachelor o science degree and a doctorate o medicine romStanord University in Caliornia. Parazynski considers Palo Alto,Cali., and Evergreen, Colo., as his hometowns.Wheelock will be making his rst space fight when STS-120launches. Beore being selected as an astronaut in 1998,Wheelock served in the Army as a test pilot. He earned abachelor o science degree in applied science and engineeringrom the U.S. Military Academy and a master o sciencedegree in aerospace engineering rom the Georgia Institute oTechnology. Wheelock considers Windsor, N.Y., as his hometown.Wilson traveled to the space station during STS-121 in 2006.She holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering science romHarvard University and a master o science degree in aerospaceengineering rom the University o Texas. Prior to being selectedto become an astronaut in 1996, Wilson worked with theGalileo spacecrat team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory inPasadena, Cali. Wilson is a native o Pittseld, Mass.Nespoli was selected as an astronaut by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and joined ESA’s astronaut corps in 1998. STS-120will be his rst space fight. Prior to joining the corps, he workedas an engineer at ESA’s European Astronaut Center in Germany.Nespoli earned a bachelor o science in aerospace engineeringand a master o science in aeronautics and astronautics romthe Polytechnic University o New York. He calls Verano Brianza,Milan, Italy, his hometown.Tani made his rst space fight when STS-108 delivered suppliesand the Expedition 4 crew to the space station. During that fighthe conducted a spacewalk. Tani, who considers Lombard, Ill., his
STS-120
 
hometown, graduated with a bachelor and a master o sciencedegree in mechanical engineering rom MIT. Tani worked as anaerospace engineer and manager, including projects associatedwith NASA, beore being selected to the 1996 astronaut class.Tani will become an Expedition 16 fight engineer on the spacestation and conclude his tour o duty when he returns to Earthwith STS122. Anderson began his rst space fight when STS117 launchedin June and became a station fight engineer two days later.He will return home with STS120. During his stay in space,he conducted three spacewalks. Anderson holds a bachelor’sdegree in physics rom Hastings College and a master o sciencedegree in aerospace engineering rom Iowa Sate University.His NASA career began in 1983. He worked as an engineer invarious organizations beore joining the astronaut corps in 1998. Anderson was born in Omaha, Neb., but considers Ashland,Neb., to be his hometown.
Harmony Connecting Module
Harmony, which is also known as Node 2, is 23.6 eet longand 14.5 eet wide and weighs 31,500 pounds. It was built orNASA by ThalesAlenia Space in Torino, Italy. The module willact as an internal connecting port and passageway to additionalinternational science labs  the European Space Agency’sColumbus Research Laboratory and the Japanese ExperimentModule Kibo  and cargo spacecrat.Harmony is a utility hub, providing air, electrical power, waterand other systems essential to support lie on the station. It willdistribute resources rom the station’s truss to the Destiny lab,Columbus and Kibo.In addition to increasing the living and working space inside thestation by almost 2,666 cubic eet, its exterior will also serve as awork platorm or the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.
Launch and Docking
Discovery 
begins its twoday journey to the space station whenit launches rom Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The crew will spendfight day 2 preparing or its arrival at the station and using theshuttle’s robotic arm and the 50oot long Orbiter Boom SensorSystem to inspect
Discovery’s
heat shield.On fight day 3,
Discovery 
will link up to the station. Prior todocking, Melroy will guide the orbiter through a backfipmaneuver about 600 eet below the station to allow Expedition16 crew members to take detailed photographs o the undersideportion o
Discovery’s
heat shield. The imagery collected rom theground at launch and on fight days 2 and 3 will be analyzed byengineers on Earth. Ater
Discovery 
docks and the hatches open, the two crews willquickly go to work to prepare or the upcoming spacewalks,transer cargo and swap out Tani and Anderson’s specializedseat liners inside the emergency return Soyuz spacecrat. WhenTani’s seatliner is installed, it will mark the start o his tour o dutyon the station.
Spacewalks and Joint Operations
On fight day 4, Parazynski and Wheelock will conduct the rstspacewalk. They will prepare Harmony or its removal rom
Discovery’s
payload bay, retrieve an Sband antenna or returnto Earth and disconnect umbilicals between the P6 and Z1 trusselements.Crew members will use the station’s robotic arm to unberthHarmony rom
Discovery’s
cargo bay and install it on the portside o the Unity Node 1.The crew will enter Harmony on fight day 5 to begin outttingthe station’s newest pressurized module. Also, the STS120crew will conduct a ocused inspection o
Discovery’s
 
heatshield, i required.Flight day 6 eatures the second STS120 spacewalk andthe detachment o the P6 rom the Z1. The P6, which will begrappled by the station arm, will be placed in an overnightparked position. The spacewalkers will also complete theouttting o Harmony’s exterior.The crew will use the robotic arms on fight day 7 to move theP6 into position or installation during the fight day 8 spacewalkby Parazynski and Wheelock. The spacewalkers will assist therobot arm operators with the P6 attachment to the P5. The P6solar array wings are scheduled to be redeployed ollowing thespacewalk.On fight day 9, the crews will transer cargo and prepare or theourth STS120 spacewalk.Parazynski and Wheelock will perorm a demonstration o spaceshuttle thermal protection system repair techniques during thefight day 10 spacewalk. The primary purpose o the test is toevaluate Shuttle Tile Abalator (STA)54 material and a tile repairablator dispenser or potential use in a microgravity and vacuumenvironment.One day later, Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson andFlight Enginerer Yuri Malenchenko, will conduct the th STS­120 spacewalk. They will complete several external stationconguration tasks to prepare or Harmony’s repositioning ater
Discovery 
leaves.The STS120 and Expedition 16 crews will wrap up jointoperations beore the hatches are closed on fight day 12.
NASA Facts

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