Extension planned for ISS

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Extension planned for ISS

It’s nearly spring, the traditional time for DIY, and the thoughts of many are turning to a nice little extension.

Here at TG Daily, we’re thinking in terms of a cosy conservatory to house our collection of poisonous plants, but NASA has rather grander ideas.

During the STS-130 mission, space shuttle Endeavour will deliver the Tranquility node and its cupola, a dome-shaped extension made up of seven windows to the International Space Station (ISS). It’s a shame not to take advantage of such a lovely view, after all.

“Just the idea of providing this great view of the station and the world beneath us is going to be pretty great,” said STS-130 Commander George Zamka. “That’s not what it’s for, but it will be spectacular.”

They’ll be the last major US modules to be added to the space station – until the new baby comes along, at least – and NASA says it should help free up workspace in other areas of the station. We’ve heard that one before.

“It gives us a much needed addition to the house, so to speak,” said Bob Dempsey, lead space station flight director, as he tripped over a pile of old newpapers.

“We’re getting to the point where we’re really cramped for space. You might be surprised at that, considering we’re essentially the volume of a 747 and we’ve been adding modules for the last couple of years. You might think we’d be sitting around in a big empty house. But no – every inch is really getting packed up there.”

At 15 feet wide and 23 feet long, the Tranquility node will provide a centralized home for the station’s environmental control equipment. And there’s even enough room left over for a proper home gym, with a treadmill and the microgravity equivalent of a weight machine.

Author