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astronautix.com ISS


Spacecraft: ISS Unity.

The first U.S.-built component of the International Space Station, a six-sided connecting module and passageway, or node, named Unity, will be the primary cargo of Space Shuttle mission STS-88, the first mission dedicated to assembly of the station.

The Unity connecting module, technically referred to as node 1, will lay a foundation for all future U.S. International Space Station modules with six berthing ports, one on each side, to which future modules will be attached. Built by The Boeing Company at a manufacturing facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Unity is the first of three such connecting modules that will be built for the station. Sometimes referred to as Node 1, the Unity module measures 15 feet in diameter and 18 feet long.

Meeting in Space

Carried to orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, Unity will be mated with the already orbiting Zarya control module, or Functional Cargo Block (Russian acronym FGB), a U.S.-funded and Russian-built component that will have been launched earlier aboard a Russian rocket from Kazakstan. In addition to connecting to the Zarya module, Unity eventually will provide attachment points for the U.S. laboratory module; Node 3; an early exterior framework, or truss for the station; an airlock; and a multi-windowed cupola.


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Last update 28 March 2001.
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© Mark Wade, 2001 .