Atlantis to begin ambitious station assembly sequence
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
Posted: August 29, 2000
The 99th shuttle mission follows the successful but long-delayed launching of the Russian command module, Zvezda, in July and a Progress supply ship in August, kicking off the most ambitious 12 months of U.S.-Russian launch activity in station history.
"Beginning with the Zvezda launch a few weeks ago, we're beginning a year in which we should have about 15 launches, which is the most intense period of flight operations human spaceflight has ever undertaken," said James Vaan Laak, deputy space station program manager.
"We're very excited about that, but I think we're all very awed by the challenge it represents."
If all goes well, another shuttle crew will deliver stabilizing gyroscopes in October, the first permanent crew will arrive in early November, a huge NASA solar array section will be installed in early December and the U.S. laboratory module, Destiny - the scientific heart of the orbital outpost - will be attached in January.
"Those of us who are working on the program right now feel as though we're riding on a roller coaster that has crested the top of the first hill and has begun to accelerate down the back side," Van Laak said.
Said veteran shuttle flight director Wayne Hale: "The floodgates have been opened and we're in high gear."
OPENING ASSEMBLY FLOODGATES | LAUNCH TIMED TO CATCH ISS |
SPACEWALK TO WIRE UP STATION | MAKING A HOME IN SPACE
At a glance
Vehicle: Atlantis (OV-104)
Payload: ISS 2A.2b
Launch date: Sept. 8, 2000
Launch time: 1245:47.066 GMT (8:45:47.066 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: LC-39B, Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Landing date: Sept. 20, 2000
Landing time: 0756 GMT (3:56 a.m. EDT)
Landing site: SLF, KSC
Crew: Wilcutt, Altman, Lu, Malenchenko, Morukov, Mastracchio, Burbank
Flight Data File
Quick look data - Facts, figures and important information about the mission.
Flight plan - A detailed day-by-day timetable of the major mission events based on NASA's official flight plan.
Landing opportunities - The available deorbit and landing options to bring Atlantis home, plus entry timeline.
NASA TV - The schedule for NASA TV programming during the STS-106 mission.
Tracking spacecraft - Latest orbital data for tracking the shuttle, station and other satellites on your computer.
The crew - Meet the seven astronauts who will fly aboard shuttle Atlantis.
Space demographics before and after - How the space explorers numbers will stack up before and after STS-106.
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