On the heels of making space history in 2001 by completing the
first phase of the International Space Station (ISS) assembly in
orbit, the Space Shuttle will continue a string of space firsts
during six missions planned for 2002.

“In the past 12 months, we’ve completed some of the most challenging
space flights in history,” said Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron
Dittemore. “In the next year those challenges will continue with
missions just as complex. The team continues to excel safely and
successfully, and 2002 promises to be just as rewarding as the past

The coming year will be marked by the shuttle fleet matriarch
Columbia’s return to space on the first non-ISS Shuttle flight in
more than two years. In addition, flights by Atlantis and Endeavour
will haul more than 50 tons of additional components to the ISS and
more than three dozen new experiments and two new laboratory racks.
Discovery will remain on the ground in 2002 for standard maintenance
and inspections.

In 2002, NASA plans to break a record set only last year for the most
space walks ever conducted in a single year. From Space Shuttles
alone, 15 space walks are planned coupled with seven space walks that
are planned by crews from the International Space
Station. In 2001, 18 total space walks were conducted — 12 from the
shuttle and six from the station.

“Space walks will never become routine, but we have entered an era of
space exploration now where they will continue to become more
common,” said Milt Heflin, Chief Flight Director. “But no matter how
many or how often crews leave their spacecraft, each EVA remains just
as exciting to prepare and conduct and just as rewarding to

Columbia will begin the new year with a flight to the Hubble Space
Telescope on mission STS-109, the fourth mission to service the space
telescope since its launch in 1990. Five space walks will be
conducted during the flight to install an advanced new camera system,
attempt to reactivate an existing infrared instrument system, install
new solar arrays and install a new power controller. The mission will
extend the lifetime and capabilities of the now-famous orbiting

When Columbia launches it also will become the second Shuttle ever to
fly with a new “glass cockpit,” installed as part of maintenance and
modifications completed in 2001. The new cockpit has 11 full-color,
flat-panel displays that replace 32 gauges and electromechanical
instruments and four cathode-ray tube monitors in the old cockpit.
The new cockpit is lighter, uses less power and sets the stage for a
future “smart cockpit” that will feature new, more intuitive displays
to reduce pilots’ workloads during critical periods.

In addition, the following flights are planned in 2002:

STS-110, mid spring: Atlantis will deliver to the ISS the first of
three giant truss segments to be launched in 2002.

STS-111, late spring: Endeavour will carry to the ISS the fifth
resident crew, the Leonardo logistics module filled with experiments
and supplies, and a mobile base system — the second part of the
mobile platform for the station’s innovative Canadarm2 robotic arm.

STS-107, mid-summer: Columbia will fly an international mission
dedicated to microgravity science that will carry a double Spacehab
module filled with 32 experiments involving 59 separate

STS-112, late summer: Atlantis will make its second visit of the year
to the ISS carrying the first starboard side truss segment.

STS-113, early fall: Endeavour will deliver the sixth resident crew
and a port side truss segment to the station, completing almost half
the length of the final truss.

For more information about upcoming Space Shuttle missions, please