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STS-98: Destiny lab

NASA's centerpiece module of the International Space Station -- the U.S. science laboratory Destiny -- rode to orbit aboard Atlantis in February 2001.

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Earth science update

NASA leaders discuss the agency's Earth science program and preview major activities planned for 2008, including the launch of three new satellites.

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STS-97: ISS gets wings

Mounting the P6 power truss to the station and unfurling its two solar wings were the tasks for Endeavour's STS-97 mission.

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STS-92: ISS construction

The Discovery crew gives the station a new docking port and the box-like Z1 truss equipped with gyroscopes and a communications antenna.

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Expedition 17 crew

Pre-flight news briefing with the crew members to serve aboard the space station during various stages of Expedition 17.


STS-106: Making the station a home in space

Following the Russian Zvezda service module's long-awaited launch to serve as the station's living quarters, Atlantis pays a visit in September 2000 to prepare the complex for arrival of the first resident crew.

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STS-101: ISS service call

An impromptu maintenance mission to the new space station was flown by Atlantis in May 2000. The astronauts narrate their mission highlights.

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STS-96: First ISS docking

The first shuttle mission to dock with the fledgling International Space Station came in May 1999 when Discovery linked up with the two-module orbiting outpost. The STS-96 crew tells story of the mission.

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STS-88: Building the ISS

Construction of the International Space Station commenced with Russia's Zarya module launching aboard a Proton rocket and shuttle Endeavour bringing up the American Unity connecting hub. STS-88 crew narrates highlights from the historic first steps in building the outpost.

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Failed solar array motor removed from station
Posted: January 30, 2008

Working in orbital darkness to minimize the risk of electric shock, astronauts Peggy Whitson and Dan Tani removed a faulty solar array positioning motor today so it can be replaced by a spare unit. The new motor is needed to boost the station's electrical generation enough to support the planned launches of European and Japanese research modules in February, March and April.

The first of five cables plugged into the bearing motor roll ring module, or BMRRM - pronounced "broom" - was disconnected a few minutes before 7 a.m. just after the station sailed into Earth's shadow. The solar array connected to the BMRRM produces some 160 volts of electricity when in full sunlight at up to 210 amps. Working in shadow, the array's output no longer poses a shock hazard and the cable disconnections today went smoothly.

"No discoloration, no arcing," Tani observed as Whitson carefully pulled the faulty motor out of its housing.

Along with passing power from the array to the station, the BMRRM also provides the structural support for the solar array it turns. Whitson and Tani paid special attention to making sure two clamps were securely latched to hold the array in place during the swap out.

Earlier in the spacewalk, flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston ran into a communications problem that briefly prevented them from talking directly to Whitson and Tani.

Relaying instructions through station flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko, flight controllers told the astronauts to continue preparations for replacing the BMRRM, but said the actual swap-out would not proceed unless normal communications were restored. A few minutes later, after switching to a backup communications channel, controllers re-established normal two-way voice traffic with Whitson and Tani.