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Assembling a World-Class Orbiting Laboratory

Phase One of the International Space Station Program 
Phases Two and Three 
Launches of Early Station Components and the First Crew  
Science Activities and Future Exploration  
Fun Facts 

Thirteen days after Zarya rockets into orbit, the six-sided Unity connecting module will be launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavour. The name Unity reflects the international cooperation of the space station program. Unity, the first U.S.-built space station component, will lay a foundation for all future U.S. International Space Station modules in orbit.

Unity was constructed at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and shipped in June of 1997 to the Kennedy Space Center launch site for final assembly and launch preparations.

Unity has six berthing ports, one on each side, to which future modules will be attached. With the two mating adapters attached, it weighs about 25,350 pounds and is 33 feet long and 15 feet in diameter.

In a circular orbit about 240 statute miles above the surface of the Earth, Endeavour, with Unity upright in its cargo bay, will capture Zarya and attach the two initial elements to one another before releasing both to await subsequent space station elements.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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