SPACE SHUTTLE TO DELIVER SCIENCE LABORATORY TO SPACE STATION
NEW ORLEANS, LA., February 6th, 2002 -- The first Space Shuttle mission of 2001 – STS-98 – is scheduled to lift off at 5:06 p.m. (Central time) on Wednesday, February 7. Bound for the International Space Station (ISS), the shuttle crew will deliver Destiny, the science laboratory that is the centerpiece of the space station.
In order to rendezvous with the ISS, the orbiter Atlantis and its crew of five astronauts has a launch window of less than five minutes.
The Lockheed Martin-built Super Lightweight Tank, assembled at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, provides the 500,000 gallons of propellants necessary to booster the shuttle into orbit.
Following a successful launch, astronauts will install the laboratory module during a series of spacewalks over the 11-day mission. In years to come, scientists will be able to use the module to study the affects of weightlessness and microgravity on biological life form, fluids and materials.
The space shuttle crew will join the Expedition 1 crew, who has been living on the International Space Station for the past three months. Expedition 1, comprised of U.S. Commander Bill Shepherd and two Russian cosmonauts, will continue living and working on the space station until the next shuttle mission in March relieves them.
Opportunities to view the Space Shuttle and International Space Station in orbit can be located at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/index.html
The launch will also be broadcast live on WLAE-TV, Channel 32 in New Orleans. NASA Television will carry the launch on GE-2, Transponder 9C at 85 degrees west longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 Mhz, and audio of 6.8 Mhz.