STS-120 Mission Pin – Melroy, Zamka, Nespoli, Tani, Wheelock, Parazynski 2007
This item was obtained at the estate sale of a former NASA engineer, Stan Barauskas, with a long history including the development of the Apollo module rocket engines.
STS-120 was a Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) that launched on 23 October 2007 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The mission is also referred to as ISS-10A by the ISS program. STS-120 delivered the Harmony module and reconfigured a portion of the station in preparation for future assembly missions. STS-120 was flown by Space Shuttle Discovery, and was the twenty-third Space Shuttle mission to the ISS.
At the time of the Columbia disaster, STS-120 was scheduled for early 2004. It was delayed repeatedly until 23 October 2007.
NASA originally scheduled the launch for 20 October 2007, but due to the International Space Station program requirement, launch was delayed to 23 October 2007.
In light of the small gouge to the underside of Endeavour that occurred on STS-118, in August 2007, NASA managers announced that they expected to add a fifth spacewalk to the STS-120 mission, designed to test a heat-shield repair tool. The repair technique was originally scheduled for a flight in 2008, but following STS-118, it was decided to move up the testing. The repair tool, called a TPS (thermal protection system) repair ablator dispenser (T-RAD), has never been tested in space, so the spacewalk would have allowed managers to evaluate its effectiveness in low gravity environments. During the course of the mission, issues with the S4 starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ), and P6 Solar Array, deferred this test objective to a future mission.
The mission marked:
151st NASA crewed spaceflight
120th Space Shuttle flight since STS-1
34th flight of Discovery
95th post-Challenger mission
7th post-Columbia mission
STS-120 details courtesy of Wikipedia.