SPACE SHUTTLE TO CARRY SOLAR ARRAYS TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
NEW ORLEANS, LA., 30-NOV-00 -- The 101st Space Shuttle mission will lift off tomorrow night carrying a giant package of Lockheed Martin-built solar arrays that are designed to increase the amount of electricity five-fold on the International Space Station. The power surge will allow space crews to conduct scientific research for the next 15 years on the space station.
Liftoff is scheduled for 9:06 p.m. Central time Thursday, November 30. STS-97 -- featuring the orbiter Endeavour and a crew of five astronauts -- has a launch window of less than five minutes.
The Super Lightweight Tank built at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company – Michoud Operations in New Orleans will power the Space Shuttle into orbit.
The solar arrays constructed at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles & Space Operations in Sunnyvale, Calif. convert energy from the sun into electricity. The 17-ton package aboard the Space Shuttle consists of arrays, associated electronics, batteries, radiators and support structure for the space station. At 240 feet in length, the solar arrays are 29 feet longer than the wingspan of a 747 jumbo jet.
Astronauts will install the solar arrays in a series of spacewalks during the 12-day mission. The space shuttle crew will also join up with the Expedition One Crew, who have been living on the International Space Station for the past month. The Expedition One Crew is comprised of U.S. Commander Bill Shepherd and two Russian cosmonauts who will live and work on the space station until another crew replaces them in February.
Opportunities to view the Space Shuttle and International Space Station in orbit can be found on the Web at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/index.html
Toni McCormick will be at Michoud Operations for the launch Thursday night and can be reached at 257-5211 or by beeper at 551-6712.
The launch will also be broadcast live on WLAE-TV, Channel 32. NASA Television will be available on GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 Mhz, and audio of 6.8 Mhz.