Shuttle Atlantis ready for liftoff - Interactivity - USATODAY.com




Shuttle Atlantis ready for liftoff

Shuttle_blog After a months-long delay because of damage caused during a hailstorm, the space shuttle Atlantis is ready for its next mission to the International Space Station (ISS). During the 11-day space flight, the crew will install new trusses that will eventually support laboratories, which will be delivered in future missions.

To learn more about the details of the mission, you can watch NASA video breaking down particulars. The repairs to the fuel tank foam damaged in the hailstorm are explained in this graphic. You can see the various pieces of the space station and watch an animation of the entire construction, scheduled to be completed in 2010.

We have a challenge covering the construction of the ISS because many of the missions are similar to previous missions: Atlantis carries up a new piece of the shuttle and astronauts connect wires and fold up arrays as the station takes shape. NASA is scheduled to launch three more flights in 2007. Are there graphics or concepts involved the ISS construction that you'd like to see when Atlantis flies again?

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