Node 3: a complex architecture
Node 3 - called Tranquility - , along with Node 2, have been designed, developed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space. The company was also responsible for providing the necessary support to NASA for the final checks and launch preparations. These activities are set to continue throughout all stages of the next mission and are provided by ALTEC, a company set up jointly by Thales Alenia Space, the Italian Space Agency and public entities from
The Nodes incorporate the permanent lodging for four astronauts, water purifying and oxygen generation. Structurally, Nodes 2 and 3 are similar, with a diameter of
The Nodes are key elements of the International Space Station’s architecture. They enable the interconnection and management of the various pressurised modules. Two out of three were designed and built by Thales Alenia Space in
The ISS community generally recognizes Node 3 as the most complex pressurized element of the station. Thales Alenia Space did an outstanding job in showcasing the capabilities in
Node 3 is mechanically similar to Node 2 but provides advanced and more complex functions, making it the most sophisticated life support system ever flown in space. This system will recycle wastewater for crew use and generate oxygen for them to breathe. In addition, Node 3 will contain an atmosphere revitalization system to remove contaminants and monitor/control the atmosphere constituents of the ISS. Node 3 will have the Cupola module attached to it and a robotic workstation inside it, as well as the capability for accommodating a future Crew Return Vehicle and a future habitation module.
Mission STS 130 (Node 3 and Cupola)
The Node 3 will join the Space Station onboard the Orbiter Endeavour’s STS-130 Mission planed for a launch on February 7th, 2010. at 04,39 EST (09,39 GMT)