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The Node 3 connecting module, built by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy
Science & Exploration

Farewell ceremony in Turin – European-built Node 3 starts its journey to the ISS

04/05/2009 893 views 0 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration

The European-built Node 3 module for the International Space Station will be shipped to NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, on 17 May. Media representatives are invited to attend a ceremony on 16 May at Thales Alenia Space, Turin, Italy, to mark the departure of Node 3.

The Node 3 connecting module, built by prime contractor Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, is the last element of a barter agreement by which ESA supplied NASA with International Space Station (ISS) hardware, including the Cupola and two Node modules (Node 2 and 3). In return, NASA ferried the European Columbus laboratory to the ISS in February 2008.

Following the tradition to name the ISS modules, NASA has chosen to name Node 3 'Tranquility' after the Sea of Tranquility, the lunar landing site of Apollo 11 in 1969, highlighting the link between the ISS, exploration and the Moon.

Once in space, Node 3 connects to the port side of the Unity Node and provides room for eight refrigerator-sized racks, two of the locations being used for the avionics racks controlling Node 3. It will house many of the Station's Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS), including an air revitalisation system, an oxygen generator system, a water recycling facility, a waste and hygiene compartment and a treadmill for crew exercise, which are currently stored in various places around the Station.

Node 3 is also the home of the European-built observation post Cupola
Node 3 is also the home of the European-built observation post Cupola

Node 3 is also the home of the European-built observation post Cupola. Cupola allows for a 360 degrees view of the Station and Earth to monitor robotics operations and to observe our home planet.

Also under construction in the cleanroom at Thales Alenia Space in Turin is the Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) for ATV Johannes Kepler, the second Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). The ATV cargo carrier, Node 2 and 3 and the European Columbus laboratory all share the same structural heritage stemming from the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Modules. Interested media will be able to visit both Node 3 and ATV ICC.

Node 3 will be transported by an Airbus Beluga aircraft to NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, on 17 May. At KSC, Thales Alenia Space will add the final touches before ownership is officially transferred to NASA at the end of September.

Space Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to deliver Node 3 and Cupola to the ISS on flight STS-130, targeted for launch in February 2010.

Media representatives wishing to attend the ceremony at the premises of Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, are kindly requested to complete the attached accreditation form.

For more information:

Franco Bonacina
ESA Spokesman and Head of Media Relations Office
Communication and Knowledge Department
Tel: + 33 1 5369 7299
Fax: + 33 1 6369 7690
Email: Franco.Bonacina @

Markus Bauer
ESA Communication Officer for the Directorate of Human Spaceflight
Communications and Knowledge Department
Tel: + 31 71 565 6799
Email: Markus.Bauer @


16 May 2009

10:30 Welcome by Thales Alenia Space Italy, Ing. Luigi Pasquali

10:40 Welcome by President of Piedmont Region

10:50 Welcome by Major of Turin

11:00 Address by NASA, Mr Mike Suffredini

11.10 Address by ESA, Mrs Simonetta Di Pippo

11.20 Address by Italian space agency, ASI, Ing. Enrico Saggesse

11:30 Presentation of Node 3 with Q&A

11:45 Transfer to cleanroom for Node 3 and ATV ICC viewing

12:30 Opportunities for individual interviews

13:30 Cocktail and buffet

Accreditation form

Delivery of Node 3
16 May 2009
Thales Alenia Spazio, Turin (Italy)
Strada Antica di Collegno 253

First name: _________________________________________

Surname: _____________________________________________

Media organisation: ___________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________


Tel: ________________________ Fax: _____________________

Mobile: ___________________ Email: ____________________

[ ] I shall be attending the Node 3 ceremony on 16 May

Return the accreditation form by fax or email to:

Press Office Thales Alenia Space Italy
Fax: +39 06 4151 4252
Email: tiziana.ebano @

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