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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Help Name Node 3 of the Space Station

Photo Credit: Gizmodo

NASA wants your opinion in naming the International Space Station’s Node 3 – a connecting module and its cupola – before the two segments travel to space and are installed on the orbiting laboratory. The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station, and follow in the tradition set by Node 1- Unity- and Node 2- Harmony.

Space shuttle Endeavour will deliver the Node 3 components during the STS-130 mission targeted for December 2009. Once the cupola is attached to one of the module’s six ports, it will offer astronauts a spectacular view of both their home planet and their home in space. The cupola’s six rectangular windows and one circular window overhead will show a panoramic view that will be unrivaled by any other spacecraft ever flown. Aside from providing a perfect location to observe and photograph the Earth, the cupola also will contain a robotics workstation, where astronauts will be able to control the station’s giant robotic arm.

Node 3 will connect to the port side of the Unity Node and will provide room for many of the station’s life support systems, in the form of eight refrigerator-sized racks. After Node 3 is installed, the station’s crew will transfer over many of the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) currently stored in various places around the station, including:

  • Oxygen Generation System (OGS), which takes the station’s water and splits it apart into hydrogen, which gets vented into space, and oxygen, which is returned into the cabin for the crew to breathe

  • Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS), which controls the station’s carbon dioxide levels and maintains the temperature and atmospheric pressure at comfortable levels

  • Water Recovery System (WRS) and Urine Processor Assembly (UPA), which take waste water from the station and purify it, separating any contaminants and making it safe for the crew to drink

  • Waste and hygiene compartment, which provides a place for the crew to use the bathroom in a way that allows the station to process the majority of the water used onboard so that it may be used again, greatly lessening the need for resupply flights from Earth.

NASA and its station partners traditionally have named each habitable part of the station, including its three laboratories (the U.S lab- Destiny, the European lab- Columbus, and the Japanese lab- Kibo or Hope), two airlocks (Quest and Pirs or Pier), and two Russian-built modules (Zvezda or Star, and Zarya or Dawn).

Source: NASA

A retard names Stephen Colbert found out that Serenity was in the lead, and lobbied for the retards who watch his show to suggest Colbert instead. At last report, his suggestion was in the lead by several thousand votes.

Correct this travesty and vote for Serenity, please.

Hat Tip: Gizmodo

Note...I'll be live-streaming the countdown and launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery tonight starting at 6pm Eastern. This mission is called STS-119 and will be installing the last major addition to the Solar Panels on the International Space Station.