The addition of Harmony, a connector module also known as Node 2, will set the stage for the arrival of new research laboratories from the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on future shuttle missions.
Following a flawless launch today, the seven crew members aboard Discovery opened the shuttle’s payload bay doors, successfully deployed the Ku-Band antenna that provides high-rate communications and television, and checked out the shuttle's robotic arm. They also transmitted video and photographs of the shuttle's external tank to the ground for standard post-launch analysis by engineers.
Discovery is commanded by veteran astronaut Pam Melroy. The pilot is George Zamka and mission specialists include Stephanie Wilson, Doug Wheelock, Scott Parazynski, Dan Tani and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency. The crew will awaken at 12:38 a.m. Wednesday to begin their first full day in space.
On Wednesday, the crew will perform a close inspection of Discovery’s heat shield using the shuttle’s robotic arm and the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. They also will check the spacesuits that will be used for spacewalks during the mission and install a centerline camera in the shuttle docking hatch that is used to help align the vehicle for docking.