The container with Tranquility is lifted into pad 39A’s gantry this morning. Credit: NASA-KSC
The Tranquility module that’ll be a new room with a view for the International Space Station was trucked to space shuttle Endeavour’s launch pad overnight, destined for blastoff next month.
Packed in a special transport canister shaped like the shuttle’s 60-foot-long payload bay, Tranquility was moved out of Kennedy Space Center’s Space Station Processing Facility last week. After a layover at the rotating building, where the container was turned upright, and then a weather-related hold, the module reached pad 39A before dawn today.
Ground crews went to work hoisting the canister up the gantry to unload Tranquility into the pad’s cleanroom for its eventual insertion into the shuttle bay later this week.
The module was built in Italy by Thales Alenia Space as part of the collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA in the space station program. It was delivered to KSC in May to undergo final testing and preps for flight.