Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2001 April 23
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Space Shuttle Lifts Off for Space Station
Credit: STS-100, NASA

Explanation: Last Thursday, Space Shuttle Endeavor lifted off on course for the latest round of building the International Space Station (ISS) in orbit around Earth. One of the highlights of the 11-day mission promises to be the installation of Canadarm2, a robotic arm that will assist in the future construction and utilization of the ISS. Canadarm2, a larger and more sophisticated version of the shuttle's own robotic arm, will be able to move around the station's exterior. This is the ninth shuttle mission to build the ISS -- many more are planned over the next several years. When completed, the ISS should enclose about the same room as the passenger cabin of a 747 jet.

Tomorrow's picture: Bright Stars and Haunting Dust

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.