From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Saturday, December 2, 2000
Saint-Hubert, December 2, 2000CSpace Shuttle Endeavor with Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Marc Garneau on board, docked with the International Space Station today. After a succesful launch on November 30th, the STS-97 crew had spent the last two days slowly closing in on the Station, approaching it from below and behind, and testing equipment, until the Shuttle could be manoeuvred to dock.
Immediately after docking, Astronaut Garneau used the Canadarm, the Shuttle's 50-foot robotic arm, to lift the 17-ton package containing the solar arrays that will power the International Space Station. Garneau lifted the package, called the P6 Integrated Truss Segment, a few feet out of the shuttle cargo bay where it will park overnight to control its temperature.
The Canadian Space Vision System gave Garneau visual cues as he unberthed the Truss from the Shuttle. The vision system provided Garneau with a closed-circuit television view of targets on the Truss and the Station to enable the manoeuvre.
The 70 metre solar arrays, the longest structure to ever fly in space, will be attached and unfolded tomorrow during two spacewalks.
The crew also began to stow early supplies in an outer compartment of the International Space Station, preparing for the moment when they will greet the first ISS permanent crew, Expedition One.
This is CSA Astronaut Marc Garneau's third flight into space. He was the first Canadian to fly in space 16 years ago and the first Canadian to serve in the critical role of flight engineer.
Canada is one of the international partners working with the United States, Russia, Japan and 11 nations, members of the European Space Agency, to construct the largest engineering project ever undertaken, the International Space Station. Once completed, the Station will cover an area as large as a football field (108 x 74 metres) and weigh 450 tons. Orbiting at an average altitude of 400 kilometres, it flies regularly over Canada and is visible to the naked eye.
The Canadian contribution to the International Space Station, the Mobile Servicing System, is made up of three elements: a next-generation Canadarm called the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS); a smaller, detachable two-armed robot, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM), that can be placed on the end of the SSRMS to perform delicate operations; and the Mobile Remote Servicer Base System, a movable platform for the robotic arm and the SPDM, which will slide along rails located on the Space Station's main structure to transport the arm to various points on the Station.
In April 2001, CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield will become the first Canadian Astronaut to perfom a space walk when he installs the new Canadian robotic arm on the International Space Station.
Canada is also contributing the Space Vision System, that provides information on the exact location, orientation and motion of a specific target, allowing Astonauts manipulating the SSRMS to handle its payloads precisely and safely. The Mobile Servicing System Operations Complex, a Ground Segment located at CSA headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec completes Canada's contribution to the ISS and will be used to plan missions, monitor the health of the robotic arm, and to train astronauts and cosmonauts.
Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program. Through its ASpace Knowledge, Applications and Industry Development@ business line, the CSA delivers seven service lines: Earth and the Environment; Space Science; Human Presence in Space; Satellite Communications; Generic Space Technologies; Space Qualification Services; and, Comptrollership and Awareness. The Canadian Space Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.
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For more information: Caroline Lavallée
Senior Communications Officer
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4370
Marc Garneau STS-97 Mission Website: www.space.gc.ca/sts97-garneau
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