Volume IX - Issue VIII - August 2007


Fascinating Projects


Mega Infrastructure Project in India Doubles
Estimated Investment to About US $100 billion

Reported by PMF Correspondent Raju Rao in Chennai India

The proposed Delhi - Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is now expected to have an outlay of $90-100 Billion as against $50 billion .Termed as the “Mother of all infrastructure projects” this outlay is expected to cover about 30 % of all infrastructure projects in India in the next 5 years.

Ajay Dua Secretary of department of industrial policy & promotion (DIPP) confirmed the development stating that the “first phase of the project itself will require at least $90 billion. The target is to complete the phase I along with the completion of the dedicated freight corridor by 2012.”

(In photo, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Akira Amari (left), shakes hands with Sunil Kant Munjal (right), Managing Director, Hero Corporate Services, during a Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor meeting in New Delhi on July 2, 2007. Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Kamal Nath, looks on. – courtesy www.hindu.com.)

According to estimates, the amount will be spent in four years beginning 2008 for infrastructure development along the 1483-km-long dedicated freight corridor between the two primary cities of the country. The government had earlier announced that the venture would require $50 billion which would be spent in building or upgrading five to six airports, setting up several logistics and agro-processing parks, creating a 4,000 mw power generation facility, as well as two Greenfield ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra. According to the proposal, the work on the industrial corridor will be in two phases — 2008-2012 and 2012-2016.

In fact, potential users of the freight corridor may be involved in building infrastructure as well. As the government has indicated so far, most of the infrastructure work connected to the industrial corridor will be executed in public-private partnership (PPP) format.

Shailesh Pathak, head, PPP Initiative, Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), feels that there should be a proper implementation structure for such a mega venture. “The most significant challenge will be to have an implementation structure which should be outcome-driven rather than profit-driven,” he said.

This statement has far reaching implications from a project management point of view , since outcome based projects will mean defintive parameters in terms of scope , time and cost being considered and possibly a good opportunity to use earned value management .

Key Facts

  • An investment of $90 to 100 billion will be 30% of the country's total infrastructure requirement for the next 5 years
  • The work on the industrial corridor will be in two phases - 2008-2012 & 2012-2016
  • One investment region (IR) of about 200 sq km and one industrial area (IA) of smaller size will be set up in each of the five states - UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

In a related development, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said on Monday that the ambitious $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project was at an advance stage of finalization. Mr. Nath was addressing a press conference in Mumbai after the Indo-Japan CEO meeting that was attended by Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari.

He said that the project would have world class infrastructure and generate over 30 lakh (1 lakh is 100,000) new jobs, include special economic zones, and the funds for the project would come from Japanese loans, investment by Japanese firms and through Japan depository receipts issued by Indian companies besides contributions from the Indian and State governments.

The first phase is scheduled to be completed by 2012. The concept paper for the project would be finalized before the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India in August and work on the first phase would begin by January 2008.

Source : Economic Times Mumbai; Date: Jun 24, 2007 and The Hindu Chennai Date: July 3, 2007

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Canada Announces $3b Projects to Reclaim Artic Waters,
and to Control Natural Resources & Northwest Passage

According to press reports on 9-10 July, 2007, Canada has announced plans to build six naval patrol vessels and a deep-water port in the north to assert its claim to territorial waters in the Arctic. Since other countries, including the USA, say the waters are international territory, the announcement is controversial. The $3bn (£1.5bn) investment, announced at Canada's Pacific naval base, is apparently in part to fulfill an election promise. Ottawa also sees economic potential in protecting its claim to the Arctic, as the area is thought to be rich in natural resources.

Since the end of the Cold War, Canada's modest military and coast guard have only rarely patrolled its northern coast line. Now Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to re-assert Canada's claim to the north. At a dockside ceremony complete with brass bands, fluttering flags and sharp white uniforms, the prime minister promised to build at least six new patrol ships with ice-breaking hulls to extend his country's presence in the Arctic Ocean.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s report on July 9, the Polar Class 5 Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will be custom-built, state of the art and made in Canada, Harper said during a ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt on Vancouver Island. The ships will cost about $3.1 billion, with about $4.3 billion for operations and maintenance over their 25-year lifespan.

"Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic," Harper said. "Either we use it or we lose it. And make no mistake — this government intends to use it."

Ottawa wants to remind other countries of Canada's claim to the waters off its northern coast. The claim could also have serious economic implications. Natural resources including oil, gas and diamonds are thought to lie under the Arctic ice.

And then there is the North-West Passage - the northern shipping route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans that European explorers sought for centuries. With a warming climate, the route may just become viable and lucrative. A deciding factor in the territorial disputes may be whether Canadians ever actually venture into the areas in question. And so the time has come, Ottawa says, to make sure that they do.




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Burj Dubai Reaches Record Height this Week!
Faces Inspection of Olympic Project

Reported by PMF Correspondent Mounir Ajam in Dubai

EMAAR, a major real estate developer in Dubai and the Region, will announce this week that its Burj Dubai project, which is still under construction, has already become the tallest building in the world, surpassing the tower in Taipei.

This milestone is achieved even though the project is still under construction and has not reached its planned height, which is a top secret in Dubai.

The ultimate height of Burj Dubai has not been announced or made public yet but it is expected to cross 800 meter and 160 floors.


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NASA Selects Proposals for Performing New Science
on the Moon & Establishes Two New Programs

NASA has announced that it has selected proposals for future lunar science activities and established two new programs that will enhance research made possible by the Vision for Space Exploration. The proposals and programs are part of an effort by NASA to develop new opportunities to conduct important science investigations during the planned renewal of human exploration of the moon.

In a highly competitive selection, NASA chose seven proposals from more than 70 submissions under the Lunar Sortie Science Opportunities (LSSO) Program. These newly funded efforts in the space science community will complement two new programs established in the Science Mission Directorate's Planetary Sciences Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington: the Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research (LASER) Program and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Participating Scientist Program.

The seven selected proposals will result in advanced development for simple, autonomous instrument packages to be deployed on the lunar surface by astronauts. Such "suitcase science" packages could open up a wide variety of research applications regarding the moon and the lunar environment. Some of the funded efforts will help scientists understand the lunar dust that creates problems for astronauts on the moon. Other studies will provide a better understanding of the moon's interior, look for natural resources on the lunar surface and use lasers to provide precise information about the position of the moon and its features.

Selected proposals are:

  • "Autonomous Lunar Geophysical Experiment Package" - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., William Banerdt, Principal Investigator (PI)
  • "Lunar Laser Transponder and Retroreflector Science” - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Slava Turyshev (PI)
  • "Volatile Analysis by Pyrolysis of Regolith on the Moon using Mass Spectrometry" - Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., Daniel Glavin (PI)
  • "Seismology and Heat flow instrument package for Lunar Science and Hazards" - Goddard Space Flight Center, Patrick Taylor (PI)
  • "Lunar Radiation Environment and Regolith Shielding Experiment" - Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo., Donald Hassler(PI)
  • "Lunar Suitcase Science: A Lunar Regolith Characterization Kit" - U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Fort Wainwright, Ark., Jerome Johnson (PI)
  • "Autonomous Lunar Dust Observer" - Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo., Christian Grund (PI)

Under the planned LASER program, proposals will be solicited for investigations to increase knowledge of the moon while also providing information for humans to live and work there. Studies may include simulations and laboratory work to better understand the lunar environment and its hazards, such as dust and radiation. The program also will support analysis of existing lunar data, including the Apollo and robotic mission data archives, and work to understand the origin and evolution of the moon.

In the upcoming LRO Participating Scientist Program, NASA will select researchers to perform detailed investigations using instruments aboard the LRO spacecraft during its first years in lunar orbit. Proposals for both programs are due Sept. 7, 2007. LRO is NASA's next orbital mission to the moon. Launch is planned in late 2008. It will orbit the moon for at least one year, providing data to accelerate opportunities for future science missions and human exploration.

Created by The National Aeronautics and Space Act in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s focal point for research, development and exploration of outer space. For nearly 50 years, NASA has been leading the world in the development and usage of advanced program and project management. Additional information about NASA can be found at www.nasa.gov. Details on NASA's lunar research programs are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration.


NASA Prepares next Mars Lander for August Launch

NASA has announced that the next Mars mission will launch from Florida during a three week period beginning August 3, 2007. NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander is scheduled for a risky descent and landing on Mars next year.

Instead of roving to hills or craters, NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander will claw down into the icy soil of the Red Planet's northern plains and look beneath a frigid arctic landscape for conditions favorable to past or present life. The robot will investigate whether frozen water near the Martian surface might periodically melt enough to sustain a livable environment for microbes. To accomplish that and other key goals, Phoenix will carry a set of advanced research tools never before used on Mars.

"Our 'follow the water' strategy for exploring Mars has yielded a string of dramatic discoveries in recent years about the history of water on a planet where similarities with Earth were much greater in the past than they are today," said Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "Phoenix will complement our strategic exploration of Mars by being our first attempt to actually touch and analyze Martian water -- water in the form of buried ice."

NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter found evidence in 2002 to support theories that large areas of Mars, including the arctic plains, have water ice within an arm's reach of the surface.

With its flanking solar panels unfurled, the lander is about 18 feet wide and 5 feet long. A robotic arm 7.7 feet long will dig to the icy layer, which is expected to lie within a few inches of the surface. A camera and conductivity probe on the arm will examine soil and any ice there. The arm will lift samples to two instruments on the lander's deck. One will use heating to check for volatile substances, such as water and carbon-based chemicals that are essential building blocks for life. The other will analyze the chemistry of the soil.

A meteorology station, with a laser for assessing water and dust in the atmosphere, will monitor weather throughout the planned three-month mission during Martian spring and summer. The robot's toolkit also includes a mast-mounted stereo camera to survey the landing site, a descent camera to see the site in broader context and two microscopes.

For the final stage of landing, Phoenix is equipped with a pulsed thruster method of deceleration. The system uses an ultra-lightweight landing system that allows the spacecraft to carry a heavier scientific payload. Like past Mars missions, Phoenix will use a heat shield to slow its high-speed entry, followed by a supersonic parachute that further reduces its speed to about 135 mph. The lander will then separate from the parachute and fire pulsed descent rocket engines to slow to about 5.5 mph before landing on its three legs.

"Landing safely on Mars is difficult no matter what method you use," said Barry Goldstein, the project manager for Phoenix at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Our team has been testing the system relentlessly since 2003 to identify and address whatever vulnerabilities may exist."

Smith leads the Phoenix mission, with project management at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the development partnership located at Lockheed Martin, Denver. International contributions are provided by the Canadian Space Agency, the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the Max Planck Institute, Germany, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

Additional information on the Phoenix mission is available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/phoenix. Additional information on NASA's Mars program is available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mars.

Created by The National Aeronautics and Space Act in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s focal point for research, development and exploration of outer space. On January 14, 2004, President Bush announced “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery: The President’s Vision for U.S. Space Exploration”, a new directive for the USA’s space exploration program. The United States has now committed to exploring the solar system and beyond: completing assembly of the International Space Station, flying the new Crew Exploration Vehicle no later than 2014, returning astronauts to the moon by the end of the next decade, and sending humans to Mars and beyond. For nearly 50 years, NASA has been leading the world in the development and usage of advanced program and project management. Additional information about NASA can be found at www.nasa.gov.


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Next-generation WiMAX Network Program Moves Forward
in France

Reported by PMF Correspondent Thibaut Goupii in Evreux, France.

Alcatel-Lucent has announced in Paris that the company, in partnership with SHD, a corporate joint venture between SFR and Neuf Cegetel, has signed a two-year contract for the supply and installation of the first next-generation WiMAX network in France, using standard 802.16e-2005. Alcatel-Lucent will equip the planned sites of SHD's WiMAX network in the Ile-de-France (IDF) and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) regions by mid-2009. The first sites are already operational in the Paris region due to a pilot network deployed at the end of 2006 and will be operational in the PACA region this summer, thanks to the second pilot network deployed by SHD and Alcatel-Lucent.

Based on the latest standard IEEE 802.16e-2005, the new radio network will use the 3.4 – 3.6 GHz frequency band. It will enable professional and residential subscribers to connect to broadband Internet in fixed and nomadic environments in areas with little or no DSL coverage. Alcatel-Lucent will provide its complete next-generation WiMAX solution so that SHD's WiMAX network will benefit from one of the most advanced technologies in terms of radio frequency management. Alcatel-Lucent will also qualify advanced WiMAX terminals complying with standard IEEE 802.16e-2005, aided by one of the world's leading suppliers.

SHD, Société du Haut Débit, is a corporate joint venture held by SFR (66%) and Neuf Cegetel (34%), and partnered by the Group Groupe CANAL+. In July 2006 SHD received licenses to use WiMAX radio local loop frequencies in the Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions. Its missions are to deploy and operate a WiMAX network in these two regions and propose wholesale offerings to the operators for the ultimate benefit of private and corporate subscribers.

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end communication solutions for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has one of the largest research, technology and innovation organizations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved adjusted proforma revenues of Euro 18.3 billion in 2006 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices in Paris. For more information, visit: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com


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Le Réseau Nouvelle Generation WiMAX Progresse en France

Un article de PMF Correspondent Thibaut Goupii, Evreux, France.

Alcatel-Lucent a annoncé à Paris que la société en partenariat avec SHD, une joint-venture entre SFR et Neuf Cégétel, a signé un contrat de deux ans pour fournir et installer le premier réseau nouvelle génération WiMAX en France, selon la norme 802.16e-2005. Alcatel-Lucent équipera les sites prévus du réseau WiMAX de SHD en Ile-de-France (IDF) et Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) d’ici mi-2009. Les premiers sites sont déjà opérationnels en région parisienne grâce à un réseau pilote déployé fin 2006 et seront opérationnels en PACA cet été grâce à un second réseau pilote déployé par SHD et Alcatel-Lucent.

Basé sur la dernière norme IEEE 802.16e-2005, le nouveau réseau radio utilisera la plage de fréquence 3,4 – 3,6 GHz. Il permettra aux abonnés professionnels et particuliers de se connecter à l’Internet haut débit en environnement fixe ou nomade dans des lieux avec peu ou pas de couverture ADSL. Alcatel-Lucent fournira sa solution nouvelle génération WiMAX complète pour que le réseau WiMAX de SHD puisse bénéficier d’une des technologies les plus avancées en terme de gestion de la fréquence radio. Alcatel-Lucent qualifiera aussi les terminaux avancés WiMAX pour qu’ils soient compatibles au standard IEEE 802.16e-2005, avec l’aide d’un des fournisseurs leaders mondiaux.

SHD, Société du Haut Débit, est une joint-venture de SFR (66%) et Neuf Cegetel (34%), en partenariat avec le Groupe CANAL+. En juillet 2006, SHD a reçu les licences pour utiliser les fréquences radio locales WiMAX en Ile-de-France et Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Sa mission est de déployer et gérer le réseau WiMAX dans ces régions et de proposer une offre complète aux opérateurs au bénéfice des abonnés particuliers et d’entreprises.

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris et NYSE: ALU) propose des solutions qui permettent aux fournisseurs de services, aux entreprises et aux gouvernements de part le monde, d’offrir des services voix, information et vidéo aux clients finaux. Alcatel-Lucent offre aux hommes et femmes les solutions de communication derniers cris à leurs domiciles, au travail ou en déplacement. Avec des opérations dans plus de 130 pays, Alcatel-Lucent est un partenaire local à la force de frappe mondiale. La société a une des plus grandes organisations de recherche, technologie et innovation de l’industrie des télécoms. Alcatel-Lucent a obtenu des revenus de 18,3 milliards d’euros en 2006 et est basée en France avec un siège social à Paris. Pour plus d’informations, vous pouvez visiter http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

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E-Heath Project in Disarray

According to an article published on www.informationweek.com on July 16, an ambitious program to provide electronic health records to more than 2.5 million people is starting to unravel, as the partners in the multimillion-dollar initiative turn to legal action against each other. Dossia, a coalition that includes Wal-Mart, Intel, Pitney Bowes, Applied Materials, British Petroleum, and Cardinal Health, filed suit late last month against Omnimedix Institute, the nonprofit group it had contracted to build a date warehouse of medical records for employees, retirees, and dependents.

Dossia filed a temporary restraining order against Portland-based Omnimedix in Oregon in an attempt to keep Omnimedix from filing a suit of its own.

According to court papers, the contract signed by Dossia and Omnimedix on Dec. 14, 2006, required Dossia to pay Omnimedix a total of $15 million, in quarterly installments of $1.25 million over the three-year life of the agreement. Omnimedix was to build a federated database system, to be enhanced by third-party application vendors and others, that would help Dossia member employees lead healthier lives and make better health care purchasing decisions, while cutting employer health care costs in the process.

Dossia maintains in the court filing that Omnimedix failed to achieve the March 31 "milestones" set in the agreement.

By mid-2007--about now--it was expected that some Dossia members would begin using the system. Omnimedix CEO J.D. Kleinke confirmed that the system has yet to go online, though he declined to elaborate on the project's status. A source close to the project says Omnimedix "hasn't delivered anything" related to the system, demonstrating only a prototype of how it will work. The source says the effort seems to be sidelined by poor project management and a lack of clearly defined milestones.

Dossia's business plan was to launch with seed money from the founding members, then convert to a "revenue model" in three years, with positive cash flow within six years. The vision was for Dossia to function as something of a public utility, eventually charging application, personal health record, disease management, and other vendors to offer services of their own.

Despite all the legal hand-wringing, "Dossia is committed to providing lifelong health records to its employees," says the spokeswoman, who wears dual hats for Dossia and Intel. Dossia always "knew we'd need multiple vendors," she says, adding that the coalition is talking with other vendors about providing technology and other services for the project. Dossia, the spokeswoman says, remains committed to offering e-health records to at least some employees by the end of this year.

Dossia is one of the largest employer coalitions in the USA attempting to provide workers with private (the companies won't have access to patient data), secure electronic health records. But it's not the first e-health program to encounter major problems, which have included lack of funding, doctor apathy, concerns about patient privacy and medical liability, and technology glitches.

Among the highest-profile disappointments was the Santa Barbara County Care Data Exchange, a $10 million project launched in 1999 to let doctors, labs, hospitals, and other health care providers in Southern California share patient data over a secure, interoperable network. The project, which served as a model for other regions developing health data exchanges and which was much further along in development than Dossia's system is now, eventually got dragged down by legal issues and competitive concerns among health care providers. The exchange folded last year after doctor interest and funding waned.

When the Dossia project was announced last December (around the same time the Santa Barbara exchange was shut down), health officials from across the country lauded the effort as a major step toward digitizing the industry. Dossia's blue-chip companies, which spend billions of dollars a year on health care, were seen pressuring tech-laggard medical providers into adopting e-health systems of their own.

Based on an article by Marianne McGee on www.informationweek.com
at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=201001393
on July 16, 2007.

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NASA Sets Countdown for August 7 Launch of
Space Shuttle Endeavour

NASA will start the launch countdown for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission at 9 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 4, at T-43 hours. The countdown includes 27 hours, 3 minutes of built-in hold time leading to a preferred launch time at 7:02 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 7 (00:02 a.m. GMT, Aug 8, 2007). The launch window extends an additional five minutes.

During the 11-day mission to the International Space Station, Endeavour's crew will add another truss segment to the expanding station, install a new gyroscope and add an external spare parts platform. The flight will have at least three spacewalks. It also will debut a new system that enables docked shuttles to draw electrical power from the station to extend visits to the outpost. If this system functions as expected, three additional days will be added to the STS-118 mission.

Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission is the 22nd shuttle flight to the International Space Station. It will continue space station construction by delivering a third starboard truss segment.

U.S. Navy Commander Scott J. Kelly will command the seven-person crew of STS-118. U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col Charles O. Hobaugh will be Endeavour's pilot. Veteran astronauts Richard A. Mastracchio and Dr. Dafydd (Dave) Williams of the Canadian Space Agency will be returning to space for their second missions. Barbara R. Morgan, Tracy E. Caldwell, Ph. D., and Benjamin Alvin Drew round out the crew as mission specialists.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut and physician Dave Williams, a former emergency room physician, will be making his second spaceflight. He first flew as a mission specialist aboard space shuttle Columbia on the STS-90 mission in April 1998. During the Endeavour mission, he will conduct at least two spacewalks to continue assembly of the International Space Station. The Canadian Space Agency selected Williams, a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, as an astronaut in 1992. He began training with NASA three years later. His career includes participating in two missions as a crew member in the Aquarius Underwater Research Facility off the Florida coast.

Like all shuttle missions, STS-118 is about the future: putting the International Space Station a step closer to completion and gathering experience that will help people return to the moon and go on to Mars. But this mission also will see a two decade-old dream realized and a vision of inspiration completed. Twenty-two years after first being selected as Christa McAuliffe’s backup in the Teacher in Space Project, Barbara Morgan will strap into space shuttle Endeavour as a fully-trained astronaut. She is one of five mission specialists in the seven-member crew.

“The mission has lots of angles,” Matt Abbott, lead shuttle flight director, said. “There’s a little bit of assembly; there’s some re-supply; there’s some repairs. And there are some high-visibility education and public affairs events. It’s a little bit of everything.”

The little bit of assembly – as in assembly of the International Space Station – refers to the next segment that will be attached to the right side of the station's backbone, or truss. The new segment, known as the S5, is relatively small and weighs about 5,000 pounds. The piece provides clearance between sets of solar arrays on the truss structure.

This will be the last dedicated shuttle mission providing cargo to the station for 12 to 15 months. Russian Progress vehicles and the European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) will bring cargo to the station in the interim. So Endeavour will carry enough supplies to last the station residents for awhile.

Then there’s the repair work, which Lead Station Flight Director Joel Montalbano expects to be one of the most difficult parts of the mission. One of the station’s control moment gyroscopes – a spinning wheel used to control the space station’s orientation – experienced problems and was shut down in October. Program managers determined that it needed to be replaced during STS-118. Kelly’s crew had less than a year to train for the task.

Endeavour will be the first to try out a new system designed to let the shuttle use electrical power from the station. The extra power will allow Endeavour to stay in space for an extended period of time while docked to the station. STS-118 currently is an 11-day mission with three spacewalks planned. Mission managers could add three more days and an additional spacewalk after the Station-Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS) is activated and checked out.

Future missions could gain as many as six extra days once all the station’s solar arrays are installed and providing power to the SSPTS. This will become more important as the construction of the station continues.

The space shuttle, one of the most complex machines ever built, is the only spacecraft with its robust capacity. The shuttle’s capacity enables humans today to build the world’s largest orbiting laboratory, paving the way back to the moon, on to Mars and further into the universe. Created in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s focal point for research, development and exploration of outer space. In 2005, the US President and Congress committed the United States to exploring the solar system and beyond: completing assembly of the International Space Station, flying the new Crew Exploration Vehicle no later than 2014, returning astronauts to the moon by the end of the next decade, and sending human missions to Mars and beyond. For nearly 50 years, NASA has been leading the world in the development and usage of advanced program and project management. Additional information about NASA can be found at www.nasa.gov.

This article is based on information from recent NASA press releases and the NASA website.


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