At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, STS-130 Pilot Terry Virts gets settled in the cockpit of a Shuttle Training Aircraft to practice landings in preparation for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission.
The Shuttle Training Aircraft is a Gulfstream II jet, modified to handle like the space shuttle. The crew members of Endeavour's upcoming mission are at Kennedy for training related to their launch dress rehearsal, the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. The primary payload on STS-130 is the International Space Station's Node 3, Tranquility, a pressurized module that will provide room for many of the 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. Endeavour's launch 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/Kim Shiflett