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ROOM WITH 360 DEGREE OUTLOOK



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC - Amsat A/C #31468



Melissa Mathews
Headquarters, Washington              Oct. 12, 2004
(Phone: 202/358-1272)

Tracy Young
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
(Phone: 321/867-2468)

Kylie Clem
Johnson Space Center, Houston
(Phone: 281/483-5111)

RELEASE: 04-338

ROOM WITH AN OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD VIEW ARRIVES AT NASA

     The world's ultimate observation deck, a control tower 
for robotics in space, and a sunroom like no other, has 
arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC). It is bound for 
the International Space Station.

Built in Italy for the United States segment of the Station, 
the Cupola traveled part way around the world to reach KSC. 
One day it will circle the Earth every 90 minutes, and 
crewmembers will peer through its 360-degree windows. It will 
serve as a literal skylight to control some of the most 
sophisticated robotics ever built.

"The Cupola module will be a fascinating addition to the 
Space Station," said International Space Station Program 
Manager Bill Gerstenmaier. "The crew will have an improved 
view of critical activities outside the Station and 
breathtaking views of the Earth below."

The crew will use Cupola windows, six around the sides and 
one on the top, for line-of-sight monitoring of outside 
activities, including spacewalks, docking operations and 
exterior equipment surveys. The Cupola will be used 
specifically to monitor the approach and berthing of the 
Japanese H-2 supply craft and other visiting vehicles. The 
Cupola will serve as the primary location for controlling 
Canadarm2, the 60-foot Space Station robotic arm.

Space Station crews use two robotic control workstations in 
the Destiny laboratory to operate the arm. One of the robotic 
control stations will be placed inside the Cupola. The view 
from the Cupola will enhance an arm operator's situational 
awareness, supplementing television cameras and graphics.

Construction of the Cupola by Alenia Spazio, under a contract 
with the European Space Agency (ESA), is finished. It was 
delivered to KSC on Oct. 7, where it will undergo acceptance 
testing and launch preparations.

After initial inspections conducted in the Space Station 
Processing Facility, the Cupola was secured inside its 
transportation container for storage until launch 
preparations begin. Before launch, KSC and European Space 
Agency (ESA) engineers will conduct a joint inspection 
leading to the turnover of the Cupola to NASA.

The Cupola is scheduled to launch on Station assembly mission 
14A (Shuttle mission STS-133) in early 2009. It will be 
installed on the forward port of Node 3, a connecting module 
to be installed in 2008. The Cupola was provided by ESA to 
NASA as part of a barter agreement. The agreement covers 
launch of external payloads on the Shuttle for installation 
on the External Facility of the European Columbus research 
module.

Video of the Cupola arriving at KSC and background footage 
will air in the NASA TV Video File today. NASA TV is 
available in the continental U.S. on AMC-6, Transponder 9C, 
C-Band, at 72 degrees west longitude. The frequency is 3880.0 
MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio is monaural at 6.80 
MHz. In Alaska and Hawaii, NASA TV is available on AMC-7, 
Transponder 18C, C-Band, at 137 degrees west longitude. 
Frequency is 4060.0 MHz. Polarization is vertical, and audio 
is monaural at 6.80 MHz. NASA TV is available on the Internet 
at:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For images of the Cupola on the Internet, visit:


http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm
(Search for CUPOLA)


http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/index.cfm

For information about NASA and agency programs on the 
Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov



-end-

                            * * *



&

http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/index.cfm

For information about NASA and agency programs on the 
Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov



-end-

                            * * *
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