February 07 - 20, 2001

Crew & Mission

(Left); STS-98's "Safety - You Got A Problem With That?"
(Right); STS098-S-002 - Official crew photo.

Liftoff of the Space Shuttle Atlantis occurred at 6:13:02 p.m. (EST), February 7, 2001. Space Shuttle Atlantis spent almost 13 days in orbit, with seven of those days docked to the International Space Station. The STS-98 crew, (Kenneth D. Cockrell, mission commander; Mark L. Polansky, pilot; Marsha S. Ivins, Robert L. Curbeam, and Thomas D. Jones), delivered and activated the U.S. Laboratory named Destiny and completed three space walks.

Arrival of the Destiny Lab brought the space station's mass to about 101.6 metric tons (112 tons), surpassing that of the Russian Mir space station for the first time.

Mission Specialists Tom Jones and Robert Curbeam conducted three space walks during the mission that totalled nearly 20 hours. During the first space walk they assisted shuttle robot arm operator Marsha Ivins in moving Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 and installing Destiny onto the station. During the second space walk, they focused on moving Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 from a temporary position to its new home at the forward end of Destiny.

Jones and Curbeam spent most of their third space walk connecting cables and equipment outside Destiny. Then, they performed some procedural tests to determine the best ways to help a disabled space walk partner.

Atlantis returned to Earth on February 19 with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California concluding mission STS-98.

The Artwork

(STS098-S-001 - November 2000) --- This is the insignia for STS-98, which marks a major milestone in assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). Atlantis' crew will deliver the United States Laboratory, Destiny, to the ISS. Destiny will be the centerpiece of the ISS, a weightless laboratory where expedition crews will perform unprecedented research in the life sciences, materials sciences, Earth sciences, and microgravity sciences. The laboratory is also the nerve center of the Station, performing guidance, control, power distribution, and life support functions. With Destiny's arrival, the Station will begin to fulfill its promise of returning the benefits of space research to Earth's citizens. The crew patch depicts the Space Shuttle with Destiny held high above the payload bay just before its attachment to the ISS. Red and white stripes, with a deep blue field of white stars, border the Shuttle and Destiny to symbolize the continuing contribution of the United States to the ISS. The constellation Hercules, seen just below Destiny, captures the Shuttle and Station's team efforts in bringing the promise of orbital scientific research to life. The reflection of Earth in Destiny's window emphasizes the connection between space exploration and life on Earth.

First Artwork Concepts

"The astronauts of Space Shuttle mission STS-98 asked me to aid them in the design of their official crew patch. I submitted numerous ideas (shown above) before we agreed upon a final concept. This concept then underwent various revisions before the final patch design was reached".

Marc Jacobs, February 2003.

Spot the Patch!!!

(KSC-01PP-0021 - January 03, 2001) --- STS-98 Mission Specialist Robert Curbeam grins after his arrival at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility for Terminal Countdown Test Activities. In preparation for the Jan. 19 launch.