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Room to Move


Imagine if you could attach an enormous walk-in closet to your house for 
more storage room.

Seven astronauts set to fly aboard Space Shuttle Discovery will benefit 
from a similar arrangement. The commercially owned SPACEHAB logistics 
single module will serve as an extra "float-in closet" during STS-116, a 
12-day mission to deliver hardware, supplies and a new crew member to 
the International Space Station.

Image to right: Inside the SPACEHAB Payload Processing Facility at Port 
Canaveral, Fla., (from left) a technician reviews procedures with 
STS-116 Mission Specialists Joan Higginbotham, Sunita Williams and 
Nicholas Patrick. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The SPACEHAB single module more than doubles the storage capacity of the 
orbiter's middeck. And because the 1,100-cubic-foot module is 
pressurized, powered and climate-controlled, it's a convenient 
"shirtsleeve" environment for the astronauts. They can enter through a 
tunnel connected to the middeck without ever having to suit up and step 
out into space.

On the STS-116 mission, the module is filled almost to its three-ton 
capacity. Mission Specialist Joan Higginbotham will serve as the "load 
master," overseeing the transfer of the module's 5,800 pounds of cargo 
to the International Space Station. Items to be delivered include crew 
essentials like food, clothing and water containers, as well as 
spacewalk tools, a television camera and critical spare parts.

The crew will free up room on the station by loading the SPACEHAB module 
with Russian Elektron oxygen generator and waste containers for the 
return trip to Earth.

Behind SPACEHAB in the payload bay are the P5 integrated truss segment 
and another SPACEHAB product: the integrated cargo carrier. Measuring 
almost 14 feet wide and 7.5 feet long, this versatile carrier acts as a 
shelf inside the bay. Cargo attached to either side of the carrier can 
be accessed by the shuttle's robotic arm or by spacewalking astronauts.

Among the equipment mounted on the carrier for STS-116 are debris panels 
to shield the station's Zvezda service module from micrometeorites, and 
three tiny microsatellites to be deployed late in the mission.

SPACEHAB modules and integrated cargo carriers are prepared for launch 
at the company's own SPACEHAB Payload Processing Facility in Cape 
Canaveral, Fla., near Kennedy Space Center. When the hardware is tested 
and certified to fly, it is transported to Kennedy and installed in the 
shuttle orbiter. The SPACEHAB logistics single module flying on STS-116 
was installed along with the other payloads into Discovery's payload bay 
on Nov. 11.

Image to left: With the payload successfully installed inside, the 
payload bay doors on Space Shuttle Discovery are closing. Seen here are 
(from top) the SPACEHAB module, the P5 truss and the integrated cargo 
carrier below. Image credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

The modules can be configured for cargo or science research experiments, 
and come in single or double sizes, depending on the mission's unique 
needs. The first SPACEHAB module, configured for research, lifted off on 
Space Shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-57 in 1993.

Another SPACEHAB logistics module and integrated cargo carrier are 
slated to fly aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on the STS-118 mission, 
scheduled for launch in 2007.

For more information about SPACEHAB, please visit:
+ SPACEHAB Home Page

Anna Heiney
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center
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