The Unity connecting module rests inside the open payload bay of the orbiter Endeavour at Launch Pad 39A. At the top of bay is the docking mechanism first used with launches to Mir, the Russian space station. Unity is the first U.S. element of the International Space Station (ISS) and is scheduled for launch Dec. 3, 1998, on Mission STS-88. The Unity is a connecting passageway to the living and working areas of ISS. While on orbit, the flight crew will deploy Unity from the payload bay and attach it to the Russian-built Zarya control module which will be in orbit at that time. The mission is expected to last nearly 12 days, landing back at the Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 14. (Photo Release Date: 11/19/98 )
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