STS-105 was a mission of the Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station; launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, August 10, 2001. This mission was Discovery's final mission until STS-114, due to the fact that Discovery was grounded for a refit, and then all Shuttles were grounded in the wake of the Columbia disaster. The refit included an update of the flight deck to the glass cockpit layout, which was already in use on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Number in parentheses indicates number of spaceflights by each individual prior to and including this mission.
The main purpose of STS-105 was the rotation of the International Space Station crew and the delivery of supplies utilizing the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Leonardo on its second flight (STS-102, STS-105). The crew also performed two spacewalks and conducted scientific experiments. The MultiPurpose Logistics Module (MLPM) taken on STS-105 contained additional scientific racks, equipment and supplies. It is 6.4 meters long (21 ft) and 4.6 meters (15 ft) in diameter) and weighs over 9,000 lb (4082 kg). An identical module named Raffaello has flown twice (STS-100 and, later, STS-108).
Aboard Leonardo were six Resupply Stowage Racks, four Resupply Stowage Platforms, and two new scientific experiment racks for the station's U.S. laboratory Destiny. The two new science racks (EXPRESS Racks 4 and 5) added further science capability to the station. EXPRESS stands for Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station. EXPRESS Rack 4 weighs 1,175 pounds (533 kg) and EXPRESS Rack 5 weighs 1,200 pounds (544 kg). The empty weight of each EXPRESS rack is about 785 pounds (356 kg). EXPRESS Racks 1 and 2A were delivered aboard the Raffaello cargo module during STS-100/6A in April 2001. EXPRESS Rack 3 was brought to the station during STS-111 in 2002.
The Resupply Stowage Racks and Resupply Stowage Platforms were filled with Cargo Transfer Bags that contain equipment and supplies for the station. The six Resuppply Stowage Racks contained almost 3,200 pounds (1451 kg) of cargo and the four Resupply Stowage Platforms contained about 1,200 pounds (544 kg) of cargo, not including the weight of the Cargo Transfer Bags, the foam packing around the cargo or the straps and fences that held the bags in place. The total weight of cargo, racks and packing material aboard Leonardo was just over 11,000 pounds (4990 kg). Total cargo weight was about 6,775 pounds (3073 kg).
Another payload onboard is the Materials International Space Station Experiments (MISSE). This project was a NASA/Langley Research Center-managed cooperative endeavor to fly materials and other types of space exposure experiments on the space station. The objective was to develop early, low-cost, non-intrusive opportunities to conduct critical space exposure tests of space materials and components planned for use on future spacecraft. Johnson Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Glenn Research Center, the Materials Laboratory at the Air Force Research Laboratory and Boeing Phantom Works were participants with Langley in the project. The MISSE experiments were the first externally mounted experiments conducted on the ISS. The experiments were in four Passive Experiment Containers (PECs) that were initially developed and used for an experiment on Mir in 1996 during the Shuttle-Mir Program. The PECs were transported to Mir on STS-76. After an 18-month exposure in space, they were retrieved on STS-86. PECs are suitcase-like containers for transporting experiments via the space shuttle to and from an orbiting spacecraft. Once on orbit and clamped to the host spacecraft, the PECs are opened and serve as racks to expose experiments to the space environment.
Other payloads onboard were part of the Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility Shuttle Small Payloads Project. The SSPP system utilizes payload carrier systems such as the Hitchhiker, Getaway Specials and Space Experiment Modules to provide a low cost scientific research environment. SSPP payloads on STS-105 include the Hitchhiker payload Simplesat, The Cell Growth in Microgravity GAS Canister (G-708), the Microgravity Smoldering Combustion experimet (MSC), and the Hitchiker Experiment Advancing Technology Space Experiment Module-10 payload).