Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ISS with new solar panels & full power capacity

Thanks to the crew of the recent Space Shuttle Discovery Mission, STS-119:

Space Shuttle Mission: STS-119
Space shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven safely touched down on runway 15 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:14 p.m. EDT on Saturday, March 28. The weather cooperated enough to allow the spacecraft to land on the second opportunity.

Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus also returned to Earth with the STS-119 crew. Magnus spent 129 days aboard the International Space Station as flight engineer for Expedition 18. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata took her place on the orbiting laboratory and will return to Earth with the STS-127 crew.

The 13-day mission included three spacewalks, about 6-hours a piece, to install the S6 truss and enormous starboard-side solar arrays. They also unfurled the arrays and performed other get-ahead tasks.

Mission STS-119's crew of seven completed a successful mission aboard the International Space Station -- increasing the orbiting laboratory's power capacity and giving it the ability to accommodate additional crew members in the future.

Up till now, the ISS could only accommodate three permanent crew members. Two of those members have a full time job running the station, leaving only one to conduct experiments. Now they will be able to have six full-time crew members, and be able to really start using those space labs for research.

Follow this link to see the photo gallery for mission STS-119.

No comments: