STS-122 is the name of the 121st flight of the Space Shuttle, taking seven people into outer space to visit the International Space Station. The flight is being made to deliver a new module to the space station, called Columbus. It is being made by the Space Shuttle called Atlantis. The flight started at 19:45 GMT, on 7 February 2008, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The flight ended on 20 February, at 14:07 GMT, when the Shuttle went back to the Kennedy Space Center.
Crew[change | change source]
Seven people are aboard the Space Shuttle. They are; Stephen Frick, who is the Commander, the man in charge of the Space Shuttle, Alan G. Poindexter, who is the Pilot, the man who flys the Shuttle, Leland D. Melvin, Rex J. Walheim, Hans Schlegel and Stanley G. Love, who are there to fit the Columbus onto the space station. Léopold Eyharts is also on board. He will live on the Space Station for a month, after the Shuttle leaves. Daniel M. Tani, who is on the space station will come home aboard the Shuttle.
Launch[change | change source]
The flight was originally scheduled to launch, or start, on 6 December 2007. A problem with a part of the fuel tank used to work out how much fuel was left went wrong, which meant the start of the flight had to be delayed. After the same part went wrong in an attempt to start the flight on 9 December, the start of the flight was moved to January 2008, and later to February. The flight started on 7 February 2008. Some people at NASA were worried that bad weather might stop the launch, but the bad weather cleared up in time for a good launch.
Mission[change | change source]
The people aboard STS-122 had several jobs to do. The main job was to add the new room, or module, Columbus, to the space station. To do this, a robot arm, called a Remote Manipulator System, or RMS, will be used to lift Columbus out of the Space Shuttle, and move it over to a gap in the side of the space station. Two of the crew will then go outside, and fit parts to the module. Columbus will be used for scientific research.