June 9, 2011
Astronaut Nancy J. Currie gently mated the 12.8-ton Unity connecting module to Endeavour's docking system late afternoon of Dec. 5, successfully completing the first task in assembling the new International Space Station. Deftly 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 astronaut 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. Turning her head to her right, Currie is using one of the TV monitors on the aft flight deck to assist in the precise maneuver.
Topics: Pressurized Mating Adapter, Interfaces, Manned spacecraft, Nancy J. Currie, STS-88, Unity, Space Shuttle Endeavour, Robert D. Cabana, International Space Station