In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, preparations are under way to rotate the payload transportation canister containing the International Space Station's Node 3, named Tranquility, into a vertical position for its move to Launch Pad 39A.
The primary payload for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission, Tranquility is a pressurized module that will provide room for many of the space station's life support systems. Attached to one end of Tranquility is a cupola, a unique work area with six windows on its sides and one on top. The cupola resembles a circular bay window and will provide a vastly improved view of the station's exterior. The multi-directional view will allow the crew to monitor spacewalks and docking operations, as well as provide a spectacular view of Earth and other celestial objects. The module was built in Turin, Italy, by Thales Alenia Space for the European Space Agency. Launch of STS-130 is targeted for Feb. 7. For information on the STS-130 mission and crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts130/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis