Canadian astronaut Payette to go to space station Saturday
Payette, 45, and her team are headed for a 16-day mission focusing mostly on construction. The crew will complete the assembly of the $1-billion U.S. Japanese Kibo science laboratory aboard the orbiting platform.
The astronauts also will undertake other repair and replacement work, including installing six new batteries in the ISS.
Payette is the mission's flight engineer. She will be part of the cockpit crew that navigates Endeavour during flight and docks it to the space station. During her voyage, she also will operate the Canadarm 1, Canadarm 2, as well as a third mechanical arm that is to be installed on the space station.
The space station orbits at 350 kilometers, 220 miles
above Earth. It travels at 17000 miles per hour,27000
kilometers It's main purpose is scientific research, especially
on living and traveling in space. The astronauts conduct
experiments that can't be done on earth. One goal is to
understanding the effects of long term space travel on humans.
They also document effects of weightlessness humans on
animals and plants.. There are plans to continue too operate
the station for 10 more years. After that it is undecided.
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Redwater, Alberta, Canada