This upcoming flight is the 23rd shuttle mission to the International Space Station, and will launch an Italian-built U.S. multi-port module for the station. (See photo essay from the previous shuttle space flight at the end of this post)
Retired Air Force Col. Pamela A. Melroy will command the STS-120 mission to take the Node 2 connecting module to the station.
Melroy, a veteran shuttle pilot, is the second woman to command a shuttle. Marine Corps Col. George D. Zamka will serve as pilot. The flight's mission specialists will be Scott E. Parazynski, Army Col. Douglas H. Wheelock, Stephanie D. Wilson and Paolo A. Nespoli, a European Space Agency astronaut from Italy. Zamka, Wheelock and Nespoli will be making their first spaceflight