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Stationís First Module Reaches Orbital Milestone


*Stationís First Module Reaches Orbital Milestone*

ISS's robotic arm, Orbital Boom Sensor System and Endeavour's robotic 
armImage above: The International Space Station's robotic arm prepares 
to hand off the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) to shuttle Endeavour's 
robotic arm. Image credit: NASA TV

Zarya, the International Space Stationís first component to go into 
space, passed the 50,000th orbit mark at 11:17 a.m. EDT today. Zarya, 
which is Russian for ďSunriseĒ, was funded by the United States and 
built by Russia. It launched atop a Proton rocket from Baikonur 
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 20, 1998.

Just before Zarya made its mark in the history books, STS-118 and 
Expedition 15 crew members used Canadian-built robotic arms to attach a 
third stowage platform on to the international outpostís exterior. They 
used Space Shuttle Endeavourís robotic arm to lift external stowage 
platform-3 out of the orbiter payload bay and hand it off to the station 
arm for installation on the Port 3 truss segment.

The new platform is the second component attached to the station since 
Endeavour and the STS-118 crew arrived Aug. 10. STS-118 spacewalkers 
installed the Starboard 5 (S5) truss segment on to the end of the 
Starboard 4 (S4) truss segment on Saturday. The S5 will serve as a 
spacer segment between the S4 and Starboard 6 (S6) segments. The S6 and 
its solar arrays will be attached during a future shuttle mission.

During the second STS-118 spacewalk, astronauts replaced a failed 
control moment gyroscope in the Z1 truss. The station has four 
gyroscopes that control its orientation in orbit.

Two more spacewalks are slated for the remainder of STS-118ís stay. The 
next is slated to take place Wednesday and will focus on preparing the 
Port 6 truss for relocation from atop the Destiny laboratory module to 
the end of the Port 5 truss when STS-120 visits later this year.

In other activities, the two crews have been transferring cargo between 
Endeavour and the station. STS-118ís stay at the station is slated to 
wrap up when Endeavour undocks Aug. 20.
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