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Become a nitrogen atom in the nitrogen cycle in our Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit/Game. See all our games, activity kits and classroom activities.
A photo of the flight crew taken earlier this month. The crew is standing in front of the Shuttle Discovery (with its new lightweight external tank). From left to right, they are Pilot Dominic Gorie; Mission Specialists Franklin Chang-Diaz, Ph.D.; Wendy B. Lawrence and Janet Kavandi, Ph.D.; Mission Commander Charles Precourt; and Mission Specialist Valery Ryumin, with the Russian Space Agency.
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Image courtesy of NASA

A New ET!
News story originally written on May 19, 1998

The shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch on June 2. This launch will feature a new ET. Not a new extra-terrestrial, but a new external tank!

This new ET looks like the old external tanks, but it weighs 7,500 pounds less. The job of an external tank is to fuel the shuttle's 3 engines during take-off. Because the new external tank weighs so much less, the shuttle can carry that much more cargo. This will be especially important when the shuttle begins carrying up pieces for the International Space Station.

During its nine-day mission, Discovery will dock with space station Mir. Here, Andy Thomas will come onboard the shuttle for his ride home to Earth. Thomas has been living on Mir since January.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA