The 2000's
A Dream Job

A Dream Job
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.4

     challenging words:    airlock, spacewalkers, truss, spacewalk, weightless, hands-on, rocketed, extensive, decompression, purpose, docked, benefits, leading, assembly, orbit, technology
     content words:    International Space Station, Joe Tanner, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Dan Burbank, Steve MacLean, On Earth, Kennedy Space Center

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A Dream Job
By Sharon Fabian

1     Would you like a job in which you get to travel? How about a hands-on type of job? Or a job working with the latest technology?
2     You could be a truck driver and drive across the country. You could be a construction worker and build homes or bridges. You could be a computer repair technician.
3     Or maybe you could work for the space program.
4     Spacewalkers on the space shuttle Atlantis got to travel to outer space, help build the space station, and install some of the latest technology on their 2006 mission to the International Space Station.
5     The 2006 Atlantis mission to the space station marked the return to construction of the space station after a delay of several years. The delay had been called after the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003. In the years since 2003, Atlantis had been carefully checked and upgraded. Its return to space in 2006 revived hopes and plans for improvements to the space station.
6     The crew of Atlantis included four spacewalkers. They were Joe Tanner, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Dan Burbank, and Steve MacLean. These astronauts received extensive training before their flight because their spacewalks would be unusually complicated. Once at the space station, they would perform three separate spacewalks in teams of two astronauts each.
7     The purpose of the spacewalks was to attach a large truss structure holding solar panels to the space station. On Earth, the truss assembly weighed seventeen tons and made up a forty-five foot long package.
8     On September 9, the astronauts were ready. Atlantis was ready, too, and after a delay of several days, the weather was right for a launch. At 11:15 A.M., Atlantis with its crew of astronauts blasted off for a twelve day trip.
9     It took only minutes for the booster rockets to do their job. In almost no time, Atlantis was in Earth orbit. Once in orbit, the astronauts began their safety checks. Safety was an important concern at every stage of this mission. Aboard the shuttle and with help from the scientists back on Earth, the astronauts checked the heat shield, the wing leading edges, the nose cap, the crew cabin, and other parts of the shuttle. Everything checked out fine.

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The 2000's
             The 2000's

United States
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