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July 19, 2011
This artist's concept depicts the International Space Station at the conclusion of Space Shuttle Atlantis' mission STS-110 set for launch in early April. Atlantis will carry a 44-foot long segment of an external truss to the station, a girder-like cross beam seen in this image installed as planned atop the U.S. Destiny Laboratory (the module which has the V-shaped Canadarm2 at the bottom, truss segment on top). Designated the S0 truss, the first and central truss segment carried by Atlantis also includes a flatcar called the Mobile Transporter and rails that will become the first "space railroad," allowing the station's robotic arm to travel up and down the finished truss for assembly and maintenance. Atlantis' truss section will be joined by eight additional segments to be launched aboard shuttles in the next two years to build the complete, 356-foot truss. The giant truss structure, the longest structure ever built in space, will hold solar arrays and radiators to provide power and cooling for additional international research laboratories from Japan and Europe that will be attached to the station.

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