STS-126 -- Mission to the International Space Station
The crew of space shuttle mission STS-126 completed its mission! The astronauts launched on the space shuttle Endeavour. The mission took equipment to the International Space Station that will allow larger crews to live on the station for long-duration missions.
Chris Ferguson commanded the STS-126 mission. Eric Boe was the pilot. The mission specialists were Steve Bowen, Shane Kimbrough, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Donald Pettit and Sandra Magnus.
Magnus stayed on the station, replacing Greg Chamitoff, who returned to Earth with the STS-126 crew. Magnus is serving as a flight engineer and NASA science officer for Expedition 18. She will return to Earth on shuttle mission STS-119.
Endeavour took Leonardo into space. Leonardo is a reusable module that holds supplies and equipment. It contained more rooms for the crew, exercise equipment, equipment for the life support system and spare hardware.
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 they would do once they got into space. The astronauts also got to have some fun. They spent one night at the Houston Astros stadium throwing out the first ball, signing autographs and telling people about their jobs at NASA.
Before going into space, the STS-126 crew members designed a patch to describe their mission. The STS-126 mission patch shows space shuttle Endeavour on its mission to help complete the International Space Station. A sunburst is shown just clearing Earth. The inner patch outline is shaped like the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo. Near the center of the patch, the constellation Orion shows how the human spaceflight program will take people back to the moon and on to Mars. At the top of the patch is the gold symbol of the Astronaut Office.
to learn about other missions.