NASAwants your help in naming a new space station module that boasts a room with aview.
Individualscan vote to name the International Space Station?s new Node 3 module via an onlineballot, choosing from one of four NASA suggestions such as Earthrise,Legacy, Serenity or Venture. Creative types may also write in a name, althoughsuch an entrant would likely represent a dark horse in the race. The Node 3name polls close on March 20.
Node3 includes a cupola — essentially an observation deck attached to module — whichoffers astronauts unparalleled sights of both Earth and space. The cupola's sixwindows also provide excellent working views for anyone manning the roboticswork station that controls the International Space Station's 57-footrobotic arm.
Thenew station room is slated to launch toward the space station aboard a NASAshuttle in late 2009.
Node3?s main body contains eight refrigerator-sized racks meant to provide room formany of the station's life support systems. After installation, the crew wouldtransfer over many systems to the module, such as those responsible for oxygengeneration and water recovery. The astronaut washroom would also likely find ahome in the new space station room.
NASA?scall for Node 3 names is only the second time the agency has solicited outsidehelp in naming a piece of U.S. space station hardware. People in search of inspirationcan always look to past module names,unless they want to go above and beyond the 2,200 students who participated inNASA's Node 2 Challenge.
"Thename should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by thespace station and follow in the tradition set by Node 1, named 'Unity,' andNode 2, named 'Harmony,'" says NASA's Web site.
Awinning name will be announced at the Node 3 unveiling April 28 at NASA'sKennedy Space Center in Florida.
Evenpeople whose favorite Node 3 name loses out can look forward to more spectacularastronaut photography from the new vantage point inside the cupola. Or theymight consider stepping into the role of a robotic arm operator in NASA'supcoming onlinemultiplayer game.
Click here tocast your vote at NASA?s Node 3 Web site through March 20.
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