Tranquility and the Cupola

Tranquility Node
Image Credit: NASA

The major mission for Endeavour (STS-130) is to deliver the Tranquility module (Node 3) to the International Space Station.

Tranquility will connect to the Unity module (Node 1). The connection point is on the Earth-facing side, and will provide an additional docking point for space shuttles and other crew vehicles visiting the station.

“It gives us a much needed addition to the house, so to speak,” said Bob Dempsey, lead space station flight director for the mission.

See this image for an exploded view of the ISS and the location of the various modules including Tranquility and the Cupola.

NASA notes that:

At 15 feet wide and 23 feet long, the Tranquility node will provide a centralized home for the station’s environmental control equipment – one of the systems that remove carbon dioxide from the station’s air, one of the station’s bathrooms and the equipment that converts urine into drinkable water, all of which is currently taking up space in the Destiny laboratory. And there’s enough room left over to house the station’s new treadmill and its microgravity equivalent of a weight machine, moving it out of the Unity node where it’s in the way whenever spacewalk preparations are going on inside the adjacent Quest airlock.

The Cupola is the real star of the show. It will be to provide a true view of robotics operations on the station’s exterior – especially when the next module, the Russian Rassvet, is added during STS-132.

The view of the Cupola at the left is from the clean room in the Alenia Spazio facility in Turin, Italy, where it was manufactured for the European Space Agency. Tranquility and the Cupola were shipped to the Kennedy Space Center aboard an Airbus “Beluga” aircraft in May 2009.

The view from the Cupola will include the Earth and the Japanese and Russian sections of the ISS.

The Cupola
Image Credit: NASA
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2 thoughts on “Tranquility and the Cupola

  1. Pingback: Endeavour – Docking with the International Space Station « The National Space Society of Phoenix

  2. Pingback: ISS – The Window on the World « The National Space Society of Phoenix

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