21 Feb :WASHINGTON — NASA is asking the public to help name the International Space Station’s next module – a control tower for robotics in space and the world’s ultimate observation deck.
Eight refrigerator-sized racks in the Node 3 module will provide room for many of the station’s life support systems. Attached to the node is the cupola, a one-of-a-kind work station with six windows around the sides and one on top. The cupola will offer astronauts a spectacular view of their home planet and their home in space. In addition to providing a perfect location to observe and photograph Earth, the cupola also will contain a robotics workstation from which astronauts will be able to control the station’s 57-foot robotic arm.
Individuals can vote for the module’s name online, choosing one of four NASA suggestions — Earthrise, Legacy, Serenity or Venture — or writing in a name. Submissions will be accepted Feb. 19 through March 20. The name should reflect the spirit of exploration and cooperation embodied by the space station and follow in the tradition set by Node 1, named "Unity," and Node 2, named "Harmony."
The winning name will be announced at the Node 3 unveiling April 28 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The node is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy April 20 and is targeted for launch in late 2009.