Press Release

Texas Students Celebrate “Harmony” On NASA’s Discovery Launch

By SpaceRef Editor
October 22, 2007
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HOUSTON – Students from Brigette Berry’s 8th grade class at League City Intermediate School in League City, Texas, and Bradley Neu’s 9th grade science class at Lubbock High School in Lubbock, Texas, are among the hundreds gathered at NASA’s Kennedy Center to view the launch of space shuttle Discovery, targeted for Tuesday, Oct. 23. These students have a special connection to the flight. They helped name an important, bus-sized module that is flying on the shuttle’s STS-120 mission to the International Space Station.

The module, previously known as Node 2, was named “Harmony” after an academic competition involving more than 2,220 kindergarten through high school students from 32 states. The Node 2 Challenge required students to learn about the space station, build a scale model and write an essay explaining their proposed name for the module that will serve as a central hub for science labs.

The other winning schools are:

  • •Paul Cummins’ 8th Grade class at Browne Academy, Alexandria, Va.
  • •Sue Wilson’s 3rd grade class at Buchanan Elementary School, Baton Rouge, La.
  • •Russell Yocum’s 3rd Grade class at West Navarre Intermediate School, Navarre, Fla.
  • •David Dexheimer’s students at the World Group Home School, Monona, Wis.

A panel of NASA educators, engineers, scientists and senior agency management selected "Harmony" because the name symbolizes the spirit of international cooperation embodied by the space station, as well as the module’s specific role in connecting the international partner modules.

Harmony is approximately 24 feet long and 14.5 feet in diameter. The pressurized module will act as an internal connecting port and passageway to additional international science labs and cargo spacecraft. In addition to increasing the living and working space inside the station, it also will serve as a work platform outside for the station’s robotic arm.

Harmony joins three other named U.S. modules on the station: the Destiny laboratory, the Quest airlock and the Unity node. This is the first U.S. piece of the space station named by people outside of NASA.

Using space shuttles to finish construction of the International Space Station is a key step in America’s long-term exploration strategy, which includes plans to venture beyond Earth orbit for purposes of human exploration and scientific discovery. The space station is a crucial test bed for those future exploration missions.

For more information about the Node 2 Challenge, visit the NASA Exploring Space Challenges Web site:

For more information on the station and the Harmony module, visit:

For more information on the STS-120 mission, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.