Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Endeavour Arrives at Station, Crews Begin Joint Operations

Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineers Maxim Suraev, Oleg Kotov, Soichi Noguchi and T.J. Creamer of the Expedition 22 crew welcomed a new set of visitors aboard the International Space Station.

Space shuttle Endeavour docked with the forward docking port of the Harmony module at 12:06 a.m. EST Wednesday. The hatches between the two vehicles were opened at 2:16 a.m.

The STS-130 mission includes three spacewalks and the delivery of a connecting module that will increase the station’s interior space. Node 3, known as Tranquility, will provide additional room for crew members and many of the station's life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecrafts. After the node and cupola are added, the space station will be about 90 percent complete.

Endeavour and the STS-130 crew lifted off Monday from Kennedy Space Center, Fla.