Follow the launch of STS-130 with Node-3 & Cupola
Space Shuttle Endeavour is being prepared for a launch towards the International Space Station. Countdown is on and the first Shuttle mission of the 2010 is due to begin at 10:14 CET this Monday.
The passengers on this flight are six astronauts and two pieces of sophisticated space hardware from Europe, Node-3 ‘Tranquility’ and Cupola.
Commander of the STS-130 mission is George Zamka and Terry Virts Jr. is the pilot. Mission specialists are Nicholas Patrick, Robert Behnken, Stephen Robinson and Kathryn Hire. According to the flight plan, Endeavour will dock to the Space Station on Tuesday 9 February at 07:18 Central European Time (CET) and installation of the Node-3 Is scheduled for Thursday 11 February at 08:09 CET.
Node-3 and Cupola are part of the barter agreement between ESA and NASA under which ESA supplied two of the Station’s interconnecting Nodes (Node-2 and -3) and additional high-technology laboratory equipment and services to NASA in return for launching the European Columbus laboratory to the ISS in February 2008.
Node-3, Station’s most modern module, will extend the Space Station to the left side of the station and provide more space for the equipment and astronauts, and Cupola, the biggest and most complex window ever launched to space, will be placed in the Earth-facing docking port of the Node-3.
After installation of the new ISS modules, more than one third of the pressurised Space Station elements will have been built in Europe.
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