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STS088-E-5010
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STS088-E-5010

June 9, 2011
Operating at a control panel on Endeavour's aft flight deck, astronaut Nancy J. Currie works with the robot arm prior to mating the 12.8-ton Unity connecting module to Endeavour's docking system. The mating took place on late afternoon of Dec. 5. A nearby monitor provides a view of the remote manipulator system's (RMS) movements in the cargo bay. The feat marked an important step in assembling the new International Space Station. Manipulating the shuttle's 50-foot-long robot arm, Currie placed Unity just inches above the extended outer ring on Endeavour's docking mechanism, enabling Robert D. Cabana, mission commander to fire downward maneuvering jets, locking the shuttle's docking system to one of two Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMA) attached to Unity. The mating occurred at 5:45 p.m. Central time, as Endeavour sailed over eastern China.