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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Atlantis Launch Set for Sept. 6

After weathering tropical depression Ernesto at the launch pad, the shuttle Atlantis is set for launch from the Kennedy Space Center at 12:29 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 6, according to NASA today.

No damage to facilities or flight hardware is reported at the Kennedy Space Center following the exit of Ernesto from Florida.

Commander Brent Jett and his five crewmates will travel to the International Space Station to install a new 17-ton segment of the station's truss backbone, adding a new set of giant solar panels and batteries to the complex. Three spacewalks are planned.

Lockheed Wins Moon Contract

Lockheed Martin Corporation, the world's largest defense company, will build the spacecraft that returns the first humans to the Moon in nearly half-a-century in a $4 billion dollar contract awarded today at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The vehicle, formerly known as the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), is now referred to as "Orion."

The new Orion contract between Lockheed and NASA will run between Sept. 8, 2006, and Sept. 7, 2013. The contract has options that may run through 2019 and have an overall value of $8.15 billion if fully exercised.

Orion will replace the space shuttle fleet set to be retired by the fall of 2010. Onion's first flight is slated for 2012 to low Earth orbit with plans for lunar flights some time about the 50th anniversary of the first human steps on the moon July 20, 1969.

The next-generation cone-shapped capsule will carry as many as six astronauts to low-Earth-orbit and four to the moon as a part of the $122-billion program to return humans to the moon in the next decade. Orion will measure 16.5 feet in diameter and will have more than twice the interior volume of the three-seat Apollo capsules. The 25-ton Orion will be carried out of Earth's orbit atop the Ares I rocket.

NASA Moon Contract Let Today

The $4 billion dollar NASA contract to build the next moon spaceships will be announced at 4 PM today. Northrop Grumman Corp., maker of the vehicle that landed a man on the moon 37 years ago, may beat out Lockheed Martin Corp. according to Bloomberg.com. Northrop and Boeing Co. have teamed against Lockheed Martin Corp.for the bid to return humans to the moon before July 20, 2019. It is expected that the multi-decadal effort to return to the moon will total $122-billion.

Subscribe to Spaceports for near-daily reports about the international effort to map, send to robots and humans back to the moon and other places in the solar system in the second decade of the 21st century.

Russians Yield to Atlantis Attempt

Anousheh Ansari speaks with reporters as US Navy Captain Micheal Lopez-Alegria, a member of the Space Station Expedition 14 crew who will fly with her, looks-on.

The Russian Space Agency agreed yesterday to yield a new launch attempt to the Space Shuttle Atlantis seeking to recover from a lighteing strike at the pad followed by a tropical storm hitting the cape area. The Russians agreed that a launch as late as next Friday, September 8th, wouldn't interfere with plans for a Soyuz flight to the space station.

Meanwhile, Iranian-born American Anousheh Ansari, a spaceflight participant on the next Soyuz launch indicated she would be carry out in space a number of the European Space Agency's studies in medicine, microbiology and other areas.

Anousheh will also take with her 'teaching materials' for instruction from space. The main goal of Ansari's mission is popularization of space research. She said she wanted to be an example for many women and girls in order they believed that the impossible is possible. The Ansari X-Prize sponsor said she hopes to continue draw interest of many people in space. The Soyuz launch is now set for Monday, September 18.

Virgin Considering UK Spaceport

Virgin Galactic is considering a new spaceport location along the southern England coastline at the RAF St Mawgan airfield, near Newquay in Cornwall to supplement the number of global spaceports now under consideration for the fleet of five spaceships -- the first called "SS Enterprise."

The fledgling commercial space tourist firm is planning on utilization of Spaceport America in southern New Mexico in 2009. It is also considering spaceports in nothern Scotland, Sweden, Australia and in the United Arab Emirates. Test flights are expected to start of the new Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo at the Mojave Spaceport in southern California late next year.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Space Tourism Poll On-Line

Incredible Adventures, a Florida-based adventure tourism company, in cooperation with spaceport expert Derek Webber, is now conducting an on-line survey to measure interest in space tourism. Readers of the Spaceports BLOG may complete the survey HERE. It takes only a few minutes to complete the survey and add to the data identification of the suborbital and orbital market business.

Futron just completed a revised market survey but the data is aged on which its was based from random interviews.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ON/OFF; OFF/ON: Shuttle at Pad

In bizzare, unprecedented and "stunning" moves and countermoves, NASA management has opted to halt the return of Space Shuttle Atlantis to the Vehicle Assembly Building and stand through the storm ready to launch immediately next week targeting Sept. 6 or 7 if storm damage is light.

What this may now do to the Sept. 14 launch of the Russian space station crew exchange mission from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome is unknown. But it has been a chess game at the cape since lightening struck the pad last Friday with NASA teams sometimes operating with conter-objectives to launch and return the vehicle to the VAB.

NASA officials opted earlier in the day to protect the multi-billion dollar space shuttle from the weather rather than trying to risk the vehicle on the pad. As the sun was setting NASA went into reverse opting to retrun Atlantis to the pad after about a half-way rollback to the VAB.

The next potentionl blast-off for Atlantis STS-115 if NASA misses the September 6-7 window will be in late October with a mere two-day window unless launch rules are liberalized to allow evening launches. NASA hopes to get off the ground two space station construction missions prior to the end of 2006.

Astronauts Await Word from Cosmonauts; ISS Traffic Schedule Remains Launch Concern

Kennedy Space Center workers hope to ride out the storm engulfing the cape this week while encouraging their Moscow counter-parts to agree to a launch delay of the of the Expedition 14 crew.
A Soyuz spacecraft with the ISS exchange crew Mikhail Tyurin and Michael Lopez-Alegria along with up-and-down 10-day space tourist Anousheh Ansari are set for blastoff Sept. 14.

The delay of Atlantis at the Florida launch pad is resulting in a potential traffic jam to get to the space station. Atlantis is packed with a solar array tress to double the ISS power supply and retstart the four-year delayed construction of the orbital outpost. If Atlantis misses the Sept. 7 launch window, the shuttle will be grounded until October. The delay slows NASA's attempt to finish the station by 2010.

The Atlantis mission is slated to go for 11-days which would conflict with the 10-day Soyuz stay. The Russian partners are concerned with a delay only because it causes the subsequent landing of the Souyz to be forced into a Kazakhstan dark of night desert parachute re-entry resulting in concern for recovery crews. NASA hopes for a Sept. 7 launch to negate much of a Soyuz delay.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Communication Revolution in India Through Space

UR Rao, the former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), will give a live on-line lecture at 5 PM ET Wednesday August 30 from the campus of the University of North Dakota Space Studies entitled: "Communication Revolution in India Through Space."
Professor Rao was named one of the top 20 most influential people in space policy by the U.S.-based SpaceNews.com. India continues to expand its global market share of commercial Earth remote sensing. LIVE on the web: http://www.asn.und.edu:7070/ramgen/encoder/live.rm

Sunday, August 27, 2006

GO or Rollback From Pad?

Bolt of lightening strikes launch pad at Kennedy Spaceport
Conflicting objectives are underway at the Kennedy Space Center with the Space Shuttle Atlantis still at the launch pad. Both preparation the for launch and preperation for Vehicle Assembly Building rollback remain on the table until Monday morning to get better analysis of weather. There is some measure of hope for a Tuesday launch yet.

Growing concern with the probability of Hurricane Ernesto making landfall on the West Coast of Florida is the primary factor for a 'go-no go.' The shuttle will take shelter from the hurricane if the Tuesday launch date is scrubbed. The chances of making the September 7th launch window will implode rapidly if a Tuesday attempt is missed because of the hurricane.

Another complicating factor of a delay is with the Russia planned Soyuz launch slated set for September 14 to begin an 12-day space station crew rotation. NASA and Russian Space Agency officals are in-talks to weigh options. The Russian launch window tentatively closes September 18.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Anousheh: "Imagine, Inspire, Be the Change!"

Cosmonaut Anousheh Ansari has a new web site HERE to enable fans and friends to follow this true space pioneer into earth orbit. The new web page features her information about the first female private space tourist, her mission goals, news, photos of her cosmonaut flight training, and her space flight patch.

The Anousheh Ansari space flight patch motto is: "Imagine, Inspire, Be the Change." The patch also features the United States and Iran flags as symbols of her Iranian-American heritage.

As a child, Anousheh Ansari begged her mother to let her sleep on the balcony of their home near Tehran, Iran. She would gaze into the velvety darkness, drift off to sleep and visit the stars. Most childhood dreams disappear when the sun rises on adulthood and people are blinded by responsibilities, time and money.

But it didn't happen that way for Mrs. Ansari, a Texas businesswoman, who could not speak English when she immigrated to nothern Virginia as a teenager. In 2000, she sold her family's telecommunications business for $750 million and she is now launching a new telecom business along with partnerships to build a suborbital space fleet complete with two commercial tourist spaceports. On the web: http://www.anoushehansari.com/

Friday, August 25, 2006

NewSpace Heroine Emerges!

An icon of a new space era and a heroine to many- a-space-advocate, Iranian-American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari was interviewed by CBS evening news [video] last night just over two weeks away from her history-making orbital flight on a Russian Soyuz to the International Space Station.

Anousheh Ansari is an Iranian-born nationalized American educated in computer and electronic engineering at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and later at George Washington University in Washington.

The late 30-something woman subsequently burst upon the telecommunications scene with multimillion dollar business success. But her passion for space has made her the heroine of the NewSpace industry
first by backing the X-Prize, then contracting for the development of a new Russian-made fleet of tourist suborbital spacecraft, investing in two new commercial spaceports in Singapore and Dubai, and now as a would-be orbital space diplomat.

Ansari will liftoff to space on September 14th for a 10-day stay in low earth orbit as the 1st female space tourist, the 1st Iranian-born national to space, and the 1st Alt.Space or New Space business advocate to orbit. Anousheh Ansari merits complete support.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Suborbital Tourism Market Demand Projection Remains High

Suborbital tourism passenger market demand projections remain high in a new report released this afternoon by Bethesda, Maryland based-Futron Corporation entitled "Suborbital Space Tourism Demand Revisted" 24 August 2006.

With the first commercial suborbital flights not expected until late 2008, demand projections were revised to slightly downward through 2021 to 13,000 from 15,000 with the associated commercial revenue revised to $676-million, down from $785-million.

The new study also reviewed the changes in health conditions as a factor in space flight market demand noting that the orginal standard may have been too high. With lowered fitness requirements, the demand curve raises to 25,000 people by 2021 and associated revenues soar to $1.26 billion. Futron noted that several factors are now in play shaping demand for the future. The factors include the number of commercial firms coming into the market, ticket prices, number of passengers per flight, and the health and fitness requirements of each company or those imposed subsequently by regulation.

Commercial spaceport investment continues to expand with ten primary firms associated with suborbital launch preperations in the next three years. Among those advancing are Virgin Galactic (New Mexico); Space Adventures (Virginia), PlanetSpace (Canada); XCOR (California); Rocketplane-Kisler (Oklahoma); Armadillio Aerospace (Texas); SpaceX (California); and, Blue Origin (Texas).

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lunar Contractor Decision Coming Aug 31st for Orion

NASA plans to announce its decision Thursday, August 31 between two prime contractors in intense competition to build the next spacecraft that will return humans to the Moon prior to the 50th anniversary of humankinds first tentative steps on July 20, 1969.

Lockheed Martin and a team made up of Northrop Grumman and Boeing are in competition for the multi-billion dollar government prime contract to build the so-called "Orion" spaceship to be lofted atop the Ares boosters. The contract announcement will be the largest single space vehicle construction contract award in over a quarter-a-century.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Anousheh Named to Prime Crew

The Russian Federal Space Agency announced more formally Tuesday a decision to send American woman Anousheh Ansari to orbit September 14th. The Tehran-born Ansari, 39, will become the first female space tourist. "The decision has been made by the Board of Chief Designers. It will be formalized next week," agency spokesman Igor Panarin said.

Ansari will fly onboard Russia's Soyuz TMA-9 human spaceship together with the ISS 14th crew Mikhail Tyurin (Russia) and Michael Lopez-Alegria (USA) for the 10-day flight scheduled to end September 24. She will return to Earth together with the ISS 13th crew Pavel Vinogradov (Russia) and Jeffrey Williams (USA), who have spent six months in orbit.

Anousheh Ansari May Go to Orbit

X-Prize founder Anousheh Ansari trains for spaceflight.
The next Soyuz taxi flight to the orbiting International Space Station with the 4th space flight participant tourist may be Irian-born American female Anousheh Ansari. The thirty-nine year old Ansari has served as the back-up crew member for Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto who was declared medically unfit to fly to space by the Russian space agency Monday.
The Russian space agency is expected to name the new prime crew member this week for the September 14 blastoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the chances soaring for the George Mason University educated Ansari to make the space flight.
Ansari was the winner of the 2000 National Entrepreneurial Excellent Award sponsored by Working Woman magazine. She backed the $10-million X-Prize won by Burt Rutan in 2004; and Anousheh is starting a suborbital passenger company to luanch from the United Arab Emirates and Singapore by 2009. No US domestic launch site has been named.
As a girl growing up in Tehran before the Islamic revolution, Anousheh Ansari watched repeats of Star Trek and dreamt of becoming an astronaut. Nearly three decades later, Ansari's childhood fantasies are about to come true as she makes final preperations to become the first female space tourist. The Alt.Space community cheer her history-making flight to orbit.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Irish Firm Claims Free Energy Invention Defying Physics

An Irish technology firm claims to have developed technology it says smashes one of the basic laws of physics by producing "free energy." The Dublin-based Steorn has announced a new device that creates energy based on the interaction of magnetic fields. The technology can be applied to virtually all devices requiring energy, from cellular phones to cars the firm has claimed.

The Internet is awash with claims to have cracked the problem using magnets, coils and even crystals. Steorn discovered the technology while using magnets to try to devise more efficient wind generators and had spent the past three years developing it.

Skeptics abound but the firm has challenged scientists to validate their invention that could change 2,000 years of physics theory. The firm has produced a 5-minute video to support the free, constant energy invention claim.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

IAU Puts Solar System in Flux

Pluto and its moon Charon are hotly debated topics at IAU.
Next Thursday the International Astronomical Union meeting in Prague will decide the number of planets in the solar system. If the IAU delegates follow a committee's recommendation classroom text books throughout the world will no longer denote just 9 solar system planets but 12. The could also opt to 8 denying Pluto planetary status.

The names of new subplanets Ceres, Charon, and Xena - called plutons -may be added to the lexicon of astronomy and science creating a new solar system. Stay tuned, the solar system is contracting or expanding depending on how one views the system. Size may mean everything!

Friday, August 18, 2006

NASA Taps SpaceX and Rocketplane-Kisler for COTS Commercial Space Agreement

"NASA is proud to work with SpaceX and Rocketplane-Kistler as they endeavor to take American entrepreneurial spirit to new heights," said NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Scott Horowitz in the awaited announcement as to the NewSpace or Alt.Space firms that will advance American space technology.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) of El Segundo, Calif., and Rocketplane Kistler of Oklahoma City, Okla., were selected by NASA officials late this afternoon to share $500 million the U.S. space agency intends to spend through 2010 to simulate development of new cargo delivery services to the International Space Station by 2010.
NASA and the two companies signed Space Act Agreements that establish milestones and objective criteria to assess their progress throughout Phase 1 of the competition. Once a commercial capability is demonstrated, NASA plans to purchase crew and cargo delivery services competitively in Phase 2.

The Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration program is critical to commercialization of space at a more rapid pace while enabling the United States to service the ISS and keep humans in space following the retirement of the space shuttle fleet. More here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

PlanetSpace to Lead $200-Million Canadian Spaceport Construction

Nova Scotia has signed a "team agreement" with PlanetSpace, a consortium of international companies and stakeholders, including the Canadian Space Agency, to provide 300 acres of land for a $200-million-dollar large scale modern spaceport at Cape Breton - a position on the Earth from which a ship can get to the International Space Station more efficiently than launching from other latitudes.

"The facility will see orbital flights, similar to the Kennedy Space Center," says Chicago's Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, chairman of the PlanetSpace. The firm believes its Silver Dart hypersonic glider, powered by engines it has already developed, will be on the launch pad before the end of the decade.

PlanetSpace is a partnership between Ontario's Geoff Sheerin (who has been developing the Canadian Arrow rocket for space tourism), and American space and technology entrepreneur Kathuria.

Monday, August 14, 2006

COTS ANNOUNCEMENT FRIDAY

NASA Exploration Systems' managers will host a press conference at 4 p.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 18, to announce the organizations selected to develop and demonstrate commercial orbital transportation services. The announcment will be carried "live" on NASA-TV.

The services could pave the way for contracts to launch and deliver crew and cargo to the International Space Station. The final contenders were Andrews Space, Rocketplane Kistler, SpaceDev, SpaceHab, SpaceX, and/or t/Space. The NASA press office noted organizations denoting, perhaps, that the $500-million allocation may be split among two or more of the six Alt.Space firms.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bigelow Genesis2 Set for 2007

The Genesis-2 expanded private space station has been delayed from a planned December launch to late January to enable Las Vegas and Russian space workers to relax over the Christmas and New Year holidays instead of monitoring yet another new space vehicle, according to Bigelow Aerospace President Robert Bigelow, the owner of the Genesis-1 orbital space station launched last month.

Genesis-1 was launched from Russia in July aboard a coverted SS18 ICBM. The small space station habitat has been orbiting at about 300-miles altitude with all systems operating normally with the exception of a slight spin causing some interference with video communications.

Bigelow plans a series of private space stations with the largest named Nautilus to be launched for human passenger stays in the next decade. Virgin Galactic hopes to develop SpaceShipThree (SS3) to carrying commercial passengers to the orbiting private space station late in the next decade.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Alt.Space Awaits NASA Decision

NASA is expected to name one or more Alt.Space firm award winners from among the six finalists this month in a much-watched Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) competition that may enable the first private spacecraft to begin to supply the International Space Stationbfore the end of 2010.

Concern has been expressed about recent funding cuts to the NASA COTS program. Nonetheless, Andrews Space, Rocketplane Kistler, SpaceDev, SpaceHab, SpaceX, and/or t/Space should be announced as a winner by NASA any day.

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin has suggested that COTS space transportation services procurement may be expanded to orbital fuel depots and lunar surface deliveries should the first phase prove viable.

Virgin Galactic Seeks Four Spaceports Around the Globe

Virgin Galactic is planning four launch sites for the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital spacecraft by the end of the decade. The SS2 to enable passengers to trek to 75-miles upward to the edge of space to a private sector business effort to recoup the $220-million investment in the development of the space vehicle fleet.

Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn will scope a potential launch site for the six-passenger SS2 in nothern Scotland from RAF Lossiemouth as early as 2010. Sites in Sewden and Dubai are also said to be under consideration by Virgin Galactic.

Test flights of SS2 are expected to begin next year from the Mojave Spaceport and be completed in 2008. Commercial operations could begin in 2009 from New Mexico's Spaceport America where Virgin Galatic will be based.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

NASA's Griffin Points to Mars

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told a Mars Society conference in Washington, D.C. this past week that he plans to start the to start studies on a notional Mars mission architecture next year saying, "I don't want to leave my term of office without having done at least a preliminary Mars architecture." [full text]

Griffin told the group that human exploration of Mars by his "best guess would be the late 2020s." That's based on a return to the Moon by 2020, he said, and the existence of a heavy-lifter (the Ares 5) that could be used for Mars missions. "I think we would be poised by that point, the late teens or 2020, for a rational national decision to aim resources at going to Mars." [Mars Audio/Video]

Friday, August 04, 2006

SMART-1 To Moon Crash Sept. 3; Flotilla of Spacecraft Coming

The European SMART-1 lunar spacecraft will complete its nearly 16-month space mission with a Moon surface crash at the "Lake of Excellence" on September 3rd. The crash site is denoted by a small red dot in picture to the left. Earth-based ground telescopes will also try to observe the dust ejected by the impact, hoping to obtain physical and mineralogical data on the surface excavated by the spacecraft.

Over the next two years a flotilla of spacecraft are expected to coverage on the Moon to commence an international remote sensing effort to add to the new European data. India will launch the Chandrayaan-1; Japan will launch Selene-1; China will launch Chang'e-1; all in 2007; and, the United States will follow-on with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2008. The spacecraft are among the fleet that will visit the Moon in the next few years as the international effort is made to put humans back on the surface of the Moon for the first time in 50-years.

The "Lunar Beijing Declaration" was made recently by the 8th ILEWG International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon attended by more than 240 experts and 300 students from 18 countries met in Beijing from 23 to 27 July 2006.

Wallops Spaceport Gears-Up for Warfighting Space Launch Test


The Wallops Island Spaceport is gearing-up a launch campaign for a November 2006 boost-to-orbit of the the Air Force Research Laboratory's TacSat 2 satellite using the four-stage Minotaur I space launch vehicle contracted through Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corporation's Launch Systems Group.

TacSat-2 is a small satellite for developing low-cost, customized and rapidly deployable space capabilities for theater warfighters. The Wallops Island, Virginia launch will be the first proof of concept for Joint Warfighting Space (JWS) concept. Plans are to provide the Joint Force Commander with an operational capability by 2010.

The mission launch will be conducted from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) launch pad on the south end of Wallops Island.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Personal Spaceflight Symposium Set for New Mexico Oct 17-18

The New Mexico Space Grant Consortium has set October 17 and 18 for the 2006 International Symposium for Personal Spaceflight at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. Full registration is $200. The symposium will be held prior to the 2006 X-Prize Cup October 20-21 and a special launch from America's Spaceport at Upham, New Mexico.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Atlantis Arrives at Launch Pad

The Space Shuttle Atlantis arrived at the seaside Kennedy Spaceport launch pad this morning enabling the ground team to commence final preperation for a late August launch date. A flight readiness review will be held in 2-weeks to set the exact target launch date and time. The the initial launch is set for Sunday August 27th with launch opportunities running through September 7th.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Night Launch Schedule Desired

The Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for an August 27 liftoff from the Kennedy Spaceport with preperations for the on-time launch campaign to resume space station construction. But that is where the schedule problem begins. NASA needs night launch flexiability approval.

The last launch of Space Shuttle Discovery in 2006 is slated for December 14 but doubts are beginning to surface if that date may be a HOLD because of holidays. The launch may slip into 2007 and with it - delays in station construction.

The post-Columbia tragedy requirement of day time launch handicaps the flight schedule to narrow windows of opportunity to achieve the correct orbit to dock with ISS. Night launch provide more windows of opportunity than now exist in the calendar. NASA needs that flexability to launch sixteen times to complete the station and repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Without the night launch felxability, making the manifest schedule become problematic at best.

The 2007 schedule: Feb. 22nd: Atlantis STS-117, Truss segment, solar arrays; June 11th: Endeavour STS-118, truss segment, cargo module; Aug. 9th: Atlantis STS-120, Node 2 attachment point for two more science labs; Sept. 27th: Discovery STS-122. European Columbus science laboratory; and, Nov. 29th: Endeavour STS-123, first of three parts of Japanese science lab and Canadian robotic hand.

The 2008 schedule: Feb. 7th Atlantis STS-124, Japanese Kibo Experiment Module and robot arm; June 19th: Endeavour STS-119, Truss segment, solar arrays; Aug. 21st: Atlantis STS-126, Cargo module; and, Oct. 30th: Discovery STS-127, exposed modules for Japanese lab.

The 2009 schedule: Jan. 22nd: Endeavour, STS-129, cargo module and crew quarters for three more permanent ISS crew; April 30th: Discovery STS-129, station equipment and spare parts; and, Oct. 22nd: Discovery STS-131, cargo holding racks.

Jan. 21, 2010: Endeavour STS-132. Node 3 and cupola and the last space shuttle flight ending the Shuttle Era.