Ever since it was designed for the International Space Station, it has been known as the Node 2 module. Now thanks to students from across the United States, Node 2 also will be known as “Harmony.”

At an event Thursday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., NASA announced the new name. Harmony is being prepared at Kennedy for its space shuttle Atlantis flight, designated STS-120, targeted for launch in 2007. Members of the STS-120 crew and managers who are preparing Harmony for launch took part in the naming event.

The name was chosen from an academic competition involving more than 2,200 kindergarten through high school students from 32 states. The Node 2 Challenge required students to learn about the space station, build a scale model and write an essay explaining their proposed name for the module that will serve as a central hub for science labs.

“With this competition and similar ones, NASA continues its tradition of investing and engaging in the nation’s education programs. These types of academic competitions involve students, educators, families and the general public and help them participate in our nation’s space exploration program,” said Joyce Winterton, assistant administrator for Education.

Six different schools submitted “Harmony.” A panel of NASA educators, engineers, scientists and senior agency management selected “Harmony” because the name symbolizes the spirit of international cooperation embodied by the space station, as well as the module’s specific role in connecting the international partner modules.

The winning schools are:

— Paul Cummins’ 8th Grade class at Browne Academy, Alexandria, Va.

— Sue Wilson’s 3rd grade class at Buchanan Elementary School, Baton Rouge, La.

— Brigette Berry’s 8th grade class at League City Intermediate School, League City, Texas

— Bradley Neu’s 9th grade science class at Lubbock High School, Lubbock, Texas

— Yocum Russell’s 3rd Grade class at West Navarre Intermediate School, Navarre, Fla.

— David Dexheimer’s students at the World Group Home School, Monona, Wis.

Harmony was built for NASA in Europe. It is approximately 21 feet long and 14 feet in diameter. The pressurized module will act as an internal connecting port and passageway to additional international science labs and cargo spacecraft. In addition to increasing the living and working space inside the station, it also will serve as a work platform outside for the station’s robotic arm.

“This module will allow all international partner pieces of the station to connect together, so it’s really wonderful that kids recognize that harmony is necessary for space cooperation,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations.

Harmony joins three other named U.S. modules on the station: the Destiny laboratory, the Quest airlock and the Unity node. This is the first U.S. piece of the space station named by people outside of NASA.

Using space shuttles to finish construction of the International Space Station is a key step in America’s long-term exploration strategy, which includes plans to venture beyond Earth orbit for purposes of human exploration and scientific discovery. The space station is a crucial test bed for those future exploration missions.

Video of the name announcement event will air on NASA Television’s Video File. For NASA TV downlink, streaming video and scheduling information, visit:


For more information about the Node 2 Challenge, visit the NASA Exploring Space Challenges Web site:


For more information on the station and the Harmony module, visit: