From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The International Space Station grew in size Tuesday with the addition of the P3/P4 integrated truss structure. It was delivered by STS-115, the first space shuttle mission devoted to station construction since late 2002. STS-115 is the first in a series of missions that will increase the station’s size and capabilities.
The new truss contains a set of solar arrays, batteries and associated electronics. The P3/P4 will provide power, communication and data services to the station. The solar arrays will double the station’s capability to generate power from sunlight when they go online during a future mission.
The STS-115 crew is conducting three spacewalks to outfit the 17.5-ton, 45-foot-long truss and to prepare the arrays for operation. The solar arrays will be unfurled on flight day 6 to a total length of 240 feet.
In addition to the construction work, the STS-115 astronauts and the Expedition 13 crew will transfer cargo between the two vehicles. Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-115 crew are slated to undock Sunday.
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