Spaceflight Now STS-104

Space Station Stage 7A

Welcome to Spaceflight Now's comprehensive coverage of the international space station, its full-time residents and the next shuttle assembly mission, flight STS-104/ISS-7A of Atlantis that will launch the Joint Airlock. NASA refers to STS-104 and the Expedition Two crew's on-going work as "Stage 7A" in the space station assembly matrix. This page incorporates that approach. We will post data on upcoming shuttle assembly flights as each stage is completed. E-mail us your comments, suggestions and corrections!

Top Stories
Atlantis returns home after delivering station airlock
Blocked by bad weather overnight Monday, the shuttle Atlantis glided back to Earth late Tuesday, dropping out of a muggy Florida sky into the glare of xenon spotlights to complete a virtually flawless space station assembly mission.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates
   VIDEO: LANDING - subscribers only
   VIDEO: LANDING IN INFRARED - subscribers only
   VIDEO: CREW WAKEUP - subscribers only
   MISSION VIDEO THEATER - subscribe now
Bad weather keeps shuttle Atlantis in space
Fickle Florida weather forced NASA to scrap plans to bring space shuttle Atlantis back to Earth today. The shuttle will remain in orbit for another day in hopes of better conditions at the Kennedy Space Center to cap this successful mission that delivered the Quest airlock to the international space station.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates
   MISSION VIDEO THEATER - subscribe now
Shuttle Atlantis undocks from space station
Atlantis and the International Space Station parted company at 0454 GMT (12:54 a.m. EDT) Sunday morning after a successful eight-day stay that saw the installation of the Quest airlock. The shuttle crew is now preparing for its homecoming.
   VIDEO: UNDOCKING - subscribers only
   VIDEO: CREW GOODBYES - subscribers only
   MISSION VIDEO THEATER - subscribe now
Spacewalkers christen station's Quest airlock
Astronauts Mike Gernhardt and Jim Reilly inaugurated the space station's newly installed Quest airlock today by stepping through its hatch on a four-hour spacewalk. The successful EVA mounted a final gas tank to Quest.
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   VIDEO: AIRLOCK TOUR - subscribers only
   VIDEO: CREW CONFERENCE - subscribers only
Spacewalkers mount gas tanks to space station
After a computer scare reminiscent of problems that crippled the international space station in April, two spacewalkers successfully attached three high-pressure gas tanks to the lab's new airlock today, manually wrestling the 1,200-pound canisters into place.
   MISSION VIDEO THEATER (subscribe now)
Airlock marks milestone in quest to assemble Alpha
Station astronaut Susan Helms, operating the lab's new Canadarm2 space crane with a jeweler's precision, lifted a 6.5-ton airlock module from the shuttle Atlantis' cargo bay on Sunday and attached it to the side of the international space station.
Shuttle Atlantis arrives at space station Alpha
Space shuttle Atlantis pulled up and latched ahold of the international space station while cruising 230 miles above South America on Friday night, kicking off a week-long visit that will see a $164 million airlock added to the orbiting outpost.
   VIDEO: DOCKING (subscribers only)
Atlantis launches doorway for space station Alpha
The space shuttle Atlantis, carrying a $164 million airlock module for the international space station, streaked into orbit early Thursday after a flawless countdown, putting on a spectacular sky show as it climbed aloft and rocketed away up the east coast.
   MISSION VIDEO THEATER (subscribe now)
   VIDEO: ATLANTIS LIFTS OFF (subscribers only)
   VIDEO: CREW WALKOUT (subscribers only)
Pad 39B
Trouble-free countdown continues for Atlantis
Technicians are loading Atlantis' electricity-producing fuel cells Tuesday morning as the countdown continues smoothly for Thursday's predawn liftoff of the 105th space shuttle flight.
Pad 39B
Countdown ticking along for Thursday shuttle launch
NASA started up its countdown clock Monday for Thursday's planned launch of space shuttle Atlantis on a mission that aims to complete the first phase of international space station assembly, but stormy weather in Florida could be an obstacle in getting the ship airborne before an imposed deadline next Tuesday.
   FULL STORY [Posted: Monday]
Pad 39B
New main engine promises even safer shuttle ride
The next space shuttle crew can expect an even safer ride into orbit, thanks to the completion of a new Space Shuttle Main Engine. Workers installed one of the new engines, called the Block 2, on Atlantis this week. Liftoff is scheduled for mid-June.
Earlier Stories
Shuttle launch pads filled for summer station missions
For the first time in 18 months both space shuttle launch pads at Kennedy Space Center are occupied following Monday's rollout of Discovery in preparation for blastoff in August on a mission to exchange the resident crew aboard the international space station. Discovery joins sistership Atlantis, which was rolled out June 21.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 2]
Shuttle pads
NASA names the launch day for shuttle Atlantis
NASA officials gathered at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday for the traditional Flight Readiness Review and affirmed July 12 as the launch date for Atlantis' 11-day mission. Liftoff is planned for 5:04 a.m. EDT (0904 GMT).
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 28]
Space shuttle Atlantis makes trek to launch pad
The space shuttle Atlantis made its slow trek today from the Kennedy Space Center's cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building to launch pad 39B in preparation for blastoff July 12 to deliver a $164 million airlock to the international space station. A rollout attempt Wednesday was aborted due to lightning.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 20]
Robot arm bumps into station, but passes key test
American astronauts aboard the international space station gave the outpost's new robotic arm a thorough workout on Thursday by successfully rehearsing the job of installing a 12-ton airlock during the next planned shuttle visit. But the test started off with the arm's free end striking the station.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 14]
Shuttle launch delayed amid station arm mystery
NASA officials have again postponed the launch of space shuttle Atlantis on the next international space station construction mission while engineers struggle to understand problems with the outpost's new robotic arm.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 7]
Atlantis delayed to July in wake of station arm trouble
Problems with the international space station's new robotic arm has forced NASA to delay the next space shuttle flight, and the possibility is growing that a daring repair mission to replace one of the crane's joints might be needed before construction of the outpost can continue.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 29]
Rain-soaked tiles further delay next shuttle launch
NASA said Thursday that shuttle Atlantis will be ready for launch no sooner than June 20 because of continuing work to dry moisture in 600 tiles on the belly of spaceship to ensure they don't fall off during flight.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 24]
Wet tiles delay next month's shuttle launch
The planned June 14 liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis carrying the Joint Airlock to the international space station has been delayed at least two days to dry 500 rain-soaked heat-protection tiles on the spaceplane. The tiles got wet after Atlantis' February landing in California.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 23]
Past Missions
Station gets an arm and first tourist
The crew of space shuttle Endeavour delivered the Canadian-built robotic arm to the international space station in April. The shuttle visit was immediately followed by Dennis Tito's historic joyride to the outpost.
Station pioneers back on Earth after historic voyage
After a dramatic reversal of fortune, the shuttle Discovery dropped out of orbit and glided to a pre-dawn landing at the Kennedy Space Center on March 21, bringing the international space station's first full-time crew back to Earth after a 141-day space odyssey.
2001 began with flawless lab delivery
The shuttle Atlantis delivered the $1.4 billion U.S. Destiny laboratory module to the international space station in February during a highly successful mission.
Station's power-generating solar wings spread
In December the astronauts of space shuttle Endeavour bolted a $600 million solar power tower to the international space station and unfurled the most powerful solar wings ever launched.
Building a space outpost
The crew of space shuttle Discovery carried out a complex four-spacewalk construction mission in October to mount a truss structure with gyroscopes and communications gear to the international space station and add another docking port.

Status Summary

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