Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Remaining Shuttle Missions

with the shuttle on the launch pad for STS-124, the Universe Today showcases the planned remaining 11 shuttle missions, with the last scheduled for July 2010 before the shuttle's retirement that year.

STS-124, the current mission, is slated to delivery the Japanese Kibo laboratroy module to the ISS.

STS-125, slated for October this year, is the fifth and last Hubble Space Telescope repair mission, which should allow the telescope to operate safely until 2013.

STS-126 is scheduled just a month later and is a supply and crew exchange mission to the ISS.

STS-119 is an ISS construciton misison scheduled for February 2009 and will deliver a fourth truss segment and set of solar arrays for the ISS.

STS-127 is another ISS misison scheduled for March 2009 and will deliver the last component of the Japanese lab module, the 'storage closet' called the Exposed Facility.

STS-128 will deliver supplies and equipment to the ISS later in the spring of 2009 allowing the ISS crew to be expanded going forward from the current 3 members to 6.

STS-129 will deliver the first two of four planned ExPRESS Logistics carriers in July 2009 that will allow ISS experiments to be conducted 'outside' the station.

STS-130 scheduled for fall 2009 (could slip to Jan. 2010) may be Endeavor's last flight and is scheduled to be another resupply mission.

STS-131 scheduled for Feb. 2010, will definitely be the last flight of Atlantis, and will deliver a Docking Port module and the last two ExPRESS carriers to the ISS.

STS-132 is scheduled for April 2010, will be the last flight of Discovery and will deliver a the Node 3 components, including a robotic workstation and advanced life support equipment.

STS-133 is a contingency mission which would be flown by Endeavor only if needed to complete ISS construction and which could possibly deliver a fifth ExPRESS carrier should station managers decide it is needed.

With the completion of the ISS and the retirement of the shuttle fleet, an amazing and significant period in the history of human space exploration will come to a close.

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