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The CrewCargoTimelineEVAShuttle ArchivesPrevious mission: STS-95Next mission: STS-96STS-88: the first mission to the International Space Station
Mission Patch
Image: STS-88 Crew Patch
Mission Highlights
Mission:International Space Station Flight 2A
Launch:Dec. 4, 1998
2:35 a.m. CST
Window:5-10 minutes
Grapple:Dec. 6, 1998
5:46 p.m. CST
EVAs:3 space walks
Deploy:Dec. 12, 1998
2:25 p.m. CST
Landing:Dec. 15, 1998
9:53 p.m. CST
Duration:11 days,
19 hours,
18 minutes
208 nautical
Related Links
*Press Kit
*Unity Node
*SAC-A Hitchhiker
*MightySat I
*STS-88 Videos
*STS-88 Wake-up Calls
*Crew Answers to Internet Questions

IMAGE:  International Space Station
Their mission to the International Space Station complete, the crewmembers of STS-88 snapped this photo of the fledgling station with its new Unity Node attached. The Node is on the right side of the image.

Click here to see STS-88 images in the Gallery.

Endeavour Delivers Unity Node to International Space Station
STS-88, the 13th flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, began the largest international cooperative space venture in history as it attached together in orbit the first two modules of the International Space Station. STS-88 was the first human International Space Station assembly flight.

The primary mission objective was to rendezvous with the already launched Zarya Control Module and successfully attach the Unity Node, providing the foundation for future station components.

Zarya was boosted into orbit by a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan. Funded by the U.S. but built in Russia, Zarya will act as a type of space tugboat for the early station, providing propulsion, power, communications and the capability to perform an automated rendezvous and docking with the third module, the Russian-provided Service Module, an early living quarters. After achieving orbit, Zarya went through on-orbit checks as it awaited the arrival of Unity. Unity will serve as the main connecting point for later U.S. station modules and components.

Commander Bob Cabana flew Endeavour to a rendezvous with Zarya, and Currie used the shuttle's robotic arm to capture the Russian-built spacecraft and attach it to the Unity Node in the payload bay. At the time, Zarya was the most massive object ever moved with the shuttle's remote manipulator system.

Mission Specialists Jerry Ross and Jim Newman completed three spacewalks during the mission. After the assembly work was completed and it undocked from the station, Endeavour released two small science satellites.

Cosmonaut Segei Krikalev
*STS-88 Ask the Crew Answers
*Crew Ingresses Station: Video
*Press Kit
*STS-88 Spacewalks

IMAGE: STS-88 Mission Specialist Jerry Ross
STS-88 Mission Specialist Jerry Ross, above, and crewmate Jim Newman conducted three spacewalks while the shuttle was docked to the space station.

Crew Conducts Three Station Assembly Spacewalks
Mission Specialists Jerry Ross and Jim Newman completed three spacewalks during STS-88. During the spacewalks, Ross and Newman made all umbilical connections necessary to activate Node 1, installed handrails and foot restraint sockets, early communications system antennas and routing of the comm cable from the Zarya to the starboard antenna, beginning five years of orbital assembly work that will construct the new space station.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 10/01/2004
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