International Space Station Assembly Flight 7A
|The Joint Airlock.|
Cargo Bay Payloads:
Station Joint Airlock
The Joint Airlock is a pressurized flight element consisting of two
cylindrical chambers attached end-to-end by a connecting bulkhead
and hatch. Once installed and activated, the airlock becomes the
primary path for International Space Station space walk entry
and departure for U.S. spacesuits, which are known as Extravehicular
Mobility Units, or EMUs. In addition, the Joint Airlock is designed
to support the Russian Orlan spacesuit for EVA activity.
Airlock acts as a stowage area for EMU hardware as well as a staging
area for crewmembers preparing to conduct a space walk. A combination
of the Russian depress pump and pressure equalization valves located
within the hatches accommodate the depressurization /pressurization
capability of the airlock. The addition of the airlock permits
space station-based space walks to be performed without major
loss of environmental consumables such as air.
High-Pressure Gas Tanks (HPGT)
Two oxygen and two nitrogen High-Pressure Gas Tanks will be attached
externally to the airlock during two of the STS-104 space walks
and will be transported to the space station attached to a Space
Lab Double Pallet in the orbiter's cargo bay. These tanks provide
a replenishable source of gas to the Atmosphere Control and Supply
System and 900 psi oxygen for recharging the EMUs Recharging the
high pressure tanks is accomplished by the orbiter when it is
docked to the station's Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 or Pressurized
Mating Adapter 3, using lines that are routed through the pressurized
elements. The Oxygen Recharge Compressor Assembly is used to pump
oxygen from the shuttle tanks into the high-pressure oxygen tanks
on the space station.
IMAX Cargo Bay Camera-3D
The IMAX Cargo Bay Camera-3D payload is a 65 mm color 3-D motion picture
camera system. The system consists of a camera, a lens turret
assembly, and a film magazine containing approximately 1,646 meters
(5,400 feet) of film. The camera system is housed in an insulated
pressurized enclosure with a movable lens window cover, and is
mounted in the cargo bay on a Get-Away Special beam. The camera
system is operated from the Aft Flight Deck with a Payload and
General Support Computer. The dc power for heating and camera
operation will be supplied by the orbiter. An audio recorder with
microphones supplied by the customer will be used in the crew
compartment in conjunction with the camera system.
EarthKAM is a NASA-sponsored program that enables middle school students
to take photographs of the Earth from a camera aboard the space
shuttle. During missions, students work collectively and use interactive
Web pages to target images and investigate the Earth from the
unique perspective of space.
The EarthKAM payload will conduct Earth observations using the
Electronic Still Camera, or ESC, installed in the overhead starboard
window of the Orbiter Aft Flight Deck. Other than equipment setup,
initial camera pointing, and possible camera lens changes, no
crew intervention is required for nominal operations.
During the first four missions of EarthKAM, students took more
than 2,000 high resolution digital images of the Earth. These
photographs included the Himalayas, clouds over the Pacific, volcanoes
and the recent forest fires in Indonesia. Students use the images
in classroom projects to learn about Earth science, geography,
mathematics and space science. They also develop skills of investigation
and image analysis while learning how to use the Internet. Before
STS-104, students will select a topic of interest such as human
settlement patterns, mountain ranges, or agricultural patterns.
Using these topics, they define investigations for which they
will use the EarthKAM images.
of California at San Diego houses the EarthKAM Mission Operations
Center. Most participating schools, or groups of schools, establish
a Student Mission Operation Center.
- Shuttle Ionospheric Modification with Pulsed Local Exhaust
The objective of the SIMPLEX activity is to determine the source of
Very High Frequency radar echoes caused by the orbiter and its
Orbiter Maneuvering System, OMS, engine firings. The principal
investigator will use the collected data to examine the effects
of orbital kinetic energy on ionospheric irregularities and to
understand the processes that take place with the venting of exhaust
materials. SIMPLEX sensors may collect data during any encounter
opportunity when the orbiter support activities meet the criteria
defined. SIMPLEX requires 20 cooperative tests of orbiter thruster
firings on multiple flights. The SIMPLEX payload has no flight hardware; Orbiter OMS thruster
firings will be used to create ionospheric disturbances for observation
by the SIMPLEX radars.