Feb. 12 — Discovery (STS-119 / 15A) will kick off a five-flight 2009 with its 36th mission to deliver the final pair of U.S. solar arrays to be installed on the starboard end of the station’s truss. The truss serves as the backbone support for external equipment and spare components, including the Mobile Base System. Lee Archambault will command the 14-day flight that will include four planned spacewalks.
Oct. 15 — Discovery’s (STS-129 / ULF-3) 37th mission will focus on staging spare components outside the station. The 15-day flight includes at least three spacewalks. The payload bay will carry two large External Logistics Carriers holding two spare gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly, a spare latching end effector for the station’s robotic arm, a spare trailing umbilical system for the Mobile Transporter and a high-pressure gas tank.
SHUTTLE FLIGHTS IN 2010
Feb. 11 — Atlantis (STS-131 / 19A) begins its 32nd mission as the first flight in 2010, carrying a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module filled with science racks that will be transferred to laboratories of the station. The 11-day mission will include at least three spacewalks to attach a spare ammonia tank assembly outside the station and return a European experiment that has been outside the Columbus module. It will be the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.
April 8 — Discovery’s (STS-132 / ULF-4) 38th mission will carry an integrated cargo carrier to deliver maintenance and assembly hardware, including spare parts for space station systems. In addition, the second in a series of new pressurized components for Russia, a Mini Research Module, will be permanently attached to the bottom port of the Zarya module. The Russian module also will carry U.S. pressurized cargo. The first Russian Mini Research Module to go to the station is scheduled to launch on a Russian rocket in the summer of 2009.
May 31 — Endeavour’s (STS-133 / ULF-5) 25th mission will carry critical spare components that will be placed on the outside of the station. Those will include two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, additional spare parts for Dextre and micrometeoroid debris shields. At least three spacewalks are planned to be carried out by the crew, which has yet to be named. The 15-day mission will be the 35th to the station.
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