Node 3, also known as Tranquility, is on its way to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center on a mission to complete and extend the space station’s life.

Node 3 will be permanently attached to ISS and will house many of its environmental control and life support systems.

This would include an air revitalisation system, an oxygen generator system and a water recycling facility. It will also have a waste and hygiene compartment and a treadmill for crew exercise.

The node will also accommodate the Cuppola, a technological control room with seven windows to enable a 360° view around the station.

Tranquility is the final piece of the ISS hardware which includes Node 1 and Node 2.

Node 2 and Node 3, both built by Thales Alenia Space have a similar cylindrical structure — 7m in length, 4.6m in diameter with a weight of over 14t.

The last node is on its way to the Kennedy Space Center where it will be fitted with the Cuppola, given finishing touches and readied for launch in February 2010.