STS-119 -- Mission to the International Space Station
The crew of space shuttle mission STS-119 has completed its mission! They launched on the space shuttle Discovery. The mission took the final set of solar arrays to the International Space Station. Now, the station has enough power to allow a full crew of six to live and work on board!
Lee Archambault was the commander for the STS-119 mission. Tony Antonelli was the pilot. The mission specialists were Joseph Acaba, John Phillips, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold and Koichi Wakata.
Wakata is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut. He joined Expedition 18 as flight engineer replacing Sandra Magnus. She returned to Earth with the
The crew members spent months training and getting ready for this trip. They had to learn how to make emergency exits from the shuttle. They had to choose foods for their trip. Some of the crew members had to practice for the spacewalks to be done once they got into space.
Before going into space, the STS-119 crew members designed a patch to describe their mission. The shape of the STS-119 patch comes from the shape of an International Space Station solar array when viewed from an angle. Solar arrays are long panels that change sunlight into electricity. One set of the solar arrays on the patch is colored gold. It shows the last set of arrays to be added to the space station. The station sits in the center of the patch just below the gold astronaut symbol. The 17 white stars on the patch stand for the crew members of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia. The flowing U.S. flag shows that the people of the United States are proud of their space program.
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