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Endeavour To Begin ISS Assembly
News story originally written on November 27, 1998

The Space Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to launch on December 3rd, 1998 to begin assembly of the International Space Station. Endeavour will carry the first connection node, called Unity. The crew of STS-88 will attach the node to the Russian-built Zarya control module which was launched on November 20th.

"This flight will clearly demonstrate the unique capabilities of the Space Shuttle and of astronauts and cosmonauts to assemble large structures in space," said George Abbey, Director of NASA's Johnson Space Center. "STS-88 will showcase the Shuttle as the safe and reliable workhorse of the space station era and other future activites in Earth orbit."

The Unity module has six hatches, which will connect different sections of the station: the U.S. laboratory module, Node 3, an exterior framework for the station, an airlock, a multi-windowed cupola, and the control module.

The crew of STS-88 consists of: Robert Cabana as Mission Commander; Fredrick Sturckow as pilot; Nancy Currie, Sergei Krikalev, Jerry Ross, and James Newman as Mission Specialists.

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