STS-131 -- Mission to the International Space Station
The crew of space shuttle mission STS-131 has completed its mission! Flying on space shuttle Discovery were Rick Mastracchio, Stephanie Wilson, Jim Dutton, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Alan Poindexter, Naoko Yamazaki and Clay Anderson. 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 in space.
NASA astronaut Alan Poindexter was the commander of STS-131. He practiced for the mission in a Full Fuselage Trainer, a life-size model of the space shuttle -- without the wings.
NASA astronaut Jim Dutton was the STS-131 pilot. The space shuttle pilot helps the commander. This mission was Dutton's first trip into space.
NASA astronaut Clay Anderson spent five months on the International Space Station in 2007. He flew there on shuttle Atlantis with the crew of STS-117. During the STS-131 mission, he went on three spacewalks.
NASA astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger made her first trip into space. She used the shuttle robotic arm during the mission. Before becoming an astronaut, she was a high school science teacher.
This was astronaut Rick Mastracchio's third trip into space. He went on three spacewalks during the STS-131 mission.
NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson was in space for the third time! She flew on the STS-121 Return to Flight mission and STS-120.
Naoko Yamazaki is a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut. She is the second Japanese woman to fly in space. Yamazaki was on a television show in Japan called "Rocket Girls."
Before the mission, the STS-131 crew helped design a mission patch. The space shuttle is shown in a Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver. To do this, the shuttle turns upside down as it gets close to the station. Astronauts on the station take pictures of different parts of the shuttle. Workers back on Earth study the photos to check for damage. The star on top stands for the rising sun, spreading its early light across Earth. The background has seven stars, one for each crew member.
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