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    ISS Missions 1998-2006[Old]

    ISS Elements: Node 2

    Node 2 will be launched on mission ISS-10A will be attached to the US Lab module and will provide a location for the eventual docking of the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), ESA's Columbus Attached Payload Module (APM), the Centrifuge Accommodation Module (CAM), and Multipurpose Logistics Modules (MPLM).

    Node 2 (and Node 3) will have six berthing ports and will be slightly longer than Node 1 and Node 4, measuring almost 21 feet long, and each will hold eight standard space station equipment racks (Node 1 holds 4 of these racks).

    Nodes were originally designed to serve as generic links between more specialized modules and to contain support systems that served the ISS as a whole. Early space station designs (Space Station Freedom) utilized 4 nodes primarily for linking and support purposes. During the redesign of the SSF in 1993-1994 that number was reduced to two as Russian hardware was introduced into the program. Over time, as the design of the ISS was adjusted, two more Nodes were added back into the program - but this time, they have been given specialized functions along with their original generic linking function.

    Other uses of Nodes have been considered over the years. In 1993 the Space Station Freedom program considered using a Node as the location for the Centrifuge Facility before settling upon a specialized module (Centrifuge Accommodation Module).

    When structural design flaws were uncovered and some drilling errors made during the outfitting of the hardware designated as Node 1 in 1995, the role of that Node was changed and it was reassigned the name "Structural Test Article" (STA). The structure originally intended to be Node 2 was then reassigned with the role (and name) of Node 1.

    Since Node 2 was still needed, NASA and ESA then negotiated an agreement whereby Node 2 would be provided by ESA in a bartered arrangement as partial payment for the launch of the ESA Columbus Attached Payload Module (APM) and other equipment on the Space Shuttle. As internal storage and crew needs were reevaluated, another Node - Node 3 - was eventually added to the ISS. Node 3 will also be provided by ESA in a bartered arrangement similar to that made for the provision of Node 2.

    Nodes 2 and 3 will have six berthing ports and will be slightly longer than Node 1 and Node 4, measuring almost 21 feet long, and each will hold eight standard space station equipment racks (Node 1 holds 4 of these racks).

    Node 1 ("Unity") is a U.S.-provided element that provides six docking ports (four radial and two axial) for the attachment of other modules. Node 1 provides internal storage, serves as a link between ISS modules, and provides external attachment points for the truss. Node 1 is 5.5 meters (18 feet) long, 4.6 meters (15 feet) in diameter and contains 4 Equipment Racks.

    Node 1 was launched on STS-88/ISS-2A in December 1998 with 2 Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMAs) attached and 1 stowage rack installed inside. PMA-1 is located on the aft end of Node 1 and connects Node 1 with the forward docking port of the FGB. PMA-2 is located on the forward end of Node 1 and provides a Shuttle docking location. Eventually, Node 1's six ports will provide connecting points for the Z1 truss exterior framework (Zenith radial port); U.S. Lab Module, airlock, cupola, Node 3, the MPLM, and the FGB.

    On the exterior of Node 1 are several multiplexer-demultiplexers (MDMs) - computers that provide early command and control capability for Node 1. Node 1 was also outfitted with an early communications system that allows data, voice and low data rate video with Mission Control in Houston which serves to supplement Russian communications systems during early ISS assembly activities. These capabilities will no longer be used as prime communications systems when the U.S. Lab Module is launched on STS-98/ISS-5A in 2001.

    Node 3 will be launched on mission ISS-20A and will be attached to the Nadir (Earth-facing) radial port of Node 1. Node 3 provides attachment points for the U.S. Hab Module, the Crew Return Vehicle, and a Pressurized Mating Adapter (PMA). It also has docking ports available for future ISS additions. Node 3 also contains 2 avionics racks and 2 life support system racks.

    A fourth Node has recently been added to the ISS. Known originally as "Node X" it is now referred to as "Node 4". Node 4 will serve as the core of the US Propulsion Module (USPM). Node 4 is actually the STA (originally destined to become Node 1) which has been sitting in storage at NASA MSFC. In addition to structural enhancements to correct earlier deficiencies, two propulsion modules will be attached - one either side of the Node. The USPM would then be docked to the aft docking port of the Service Module. The USPM is designed to provide the same reboost capabilities as the Service Module and is designed to be launched some time in 2003 or 2004. The final decision as to when and how to use the USPM has yet to be made.

    Node 1 and Node 4 were built in the U.S. by Boeing at Marshall Space Flight Center. Node 4 (STA) will be re-outfitted as the U.S. Propulsion Module at MSFC. Node 2 and Node 3 are being built by the European Space Agency (ESA) for NASA in Italy by Alenia Aerospazio. Nodes 2 and 3 will be slightly longer than Node 1 and 4, measuring almost 21 feet long, and each will hold eight standard space station equipment racks (Node 1 holds 4 of these racks).


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