SPACE SHUTTLE TO ROTATE CREW ON SPACE STATION
NEW ORLEANS, LA., 07-MAR-01 -- The second Space Shuttle mission of 2001 – STS-102 – is scheduled to lift off at 5:42 a.m. (Central time) on Thursday, March 8. Bound for the International Space Station (ISS), the mission will serve as a crew rotation flight.
In order to rendezvous with the ISS, the orbiter Discovery and its crew of seven 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 power the shuttle into orbit.
Following a successful launch, Discovery will deliver the Expedition 2 crew comprised of Russian Commander Yury Usachev and American astronauts Susan Helms and Jim Voss to the space station where they will live and work for the next five months. Discovery returns to Earth in 12 days with the Expedition 1 crew made up of U.S. Commander Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev who have lived aboard the station since November.
While docked at the space station, the astronauts will also unload Leonardo, the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, which contains six racks of equipment for the Destiny science laboratory, already a part of the ISS. Sixteen nations are collaborating to build the International Space Station.
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.