STS-127 Launches on Mission to Expand Station’s Science Facilities

July 15, 2009

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., July 15 /PRNewswire/ — Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off today on a 16-day mission to deliver the final components of the Japanese Kibo complex that will expand the International Space Station’s (ISS) scientific facilities.

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The Japanese Experiment Module-Exposed Facility (EF) will serve as a multipurpose platform where experiment payloads are exposed to the external space environment. The platform can accommodate up to 12 payloads that will focus on various scientific activities including material experiments, earth observation, and data communications. The Experiment Logistics Module – Exposed Section (ELM-ES) will serve as an unpressurized logistics carrier for EF payloads. On STS-127, the ELM-ES will carry three EF payloads to the Station and will return to Earth with the Orbiter.

“This mission exemplifies that the Shuttle is a reliable and versatile vehicle that has served and continues to serve our human space exploration needs well,” said Brian Breen, ISS Program Manager for United Space Alliance (USA). “The Shuttle’s unique payload and down mass capabilities make it the only vehicle in the world currently capable of continued ISS assembly and scientific advancement.”

USA is NASA’s prime human spaceflight operations contractor, and is responsible for processing and launching the Shuttle, mission planning and support during the Shuttle’s on-orbit operations, and support of ISS operations.

Throughout its operational history, the Space Shuttle has paved the way for the International Space Station and its science. During the Shuttle-Mir Program, 1995-1998, Shuttles visited the Mir Space Station 11 times, delivering supplies and providing crew rotation. The integration of engineering philosophies, operational solutions and new technologies formed from the program set the stage for the international cooperation that made the ISS a reality.

“Future international exploration missions will require a crew that can withstand the rigors of spaceflight, spacecraft systems with high reliability and longevity, and long-term operational experience,” said Breen. “The Space Shuttle and Station combo provide the best learning environment for these requirements. The future starts with the success of today’s missions.”

About United Space Alliance:

United Space Alliance is a world leader in space operations with extensive experience in all aspects of the field. Headquartered in Houston, USA has 9,500 employees working in Texas, Florida and Alabama. Currently, USA is applying its broad range of capabilities to NASA’s Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Constellation programs as well as to space operations customers in the commercial and international space industry sectors.

SOURCE United Space Alliance

Source: newswire

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