Saturday, November 15, 2008

1115a 11/15 Update: Crew awake; heat shield inspection on tap

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CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 14
Posted: 11:15 AM, 11/15/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   SR-12 (11/14/08): Crew on board; weather appears favorable
   SR-13 (11/14/08): Shuttle Endeavour roars into orbit
   SR-14 (11/15/08): Endeavour astronauts gear up for heat shield inspection

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11:15 AM, 11/15/08, Update: Endeavour astronauts gear up for heat shield inspection; rendezvous burns

The Endeavour astronauts were awakened at 10:55 a.m. Saturday with a recording of "Shelter" by Xavier Rudd beamed up from mission control to kick off their first full day in space.

"Good morning, Endeavour, and a special good morning to you today, Fergie," astronaut Shannon Lucid called from Houston.

"Hey, good morning, Houston," shuttle commander Chris Ferguson replied. "It's always a great day to be in space. I'd like to thank my brother for that song."

Working through a routine-but-busy day in orbit, the astronauts plan to inspect the shuttle's nose cap and wing leading edge panels to make sure no impact damage occurred during launch Friday. They also will check out the spacesuits that will be used later to carry out maintenance on the international space station and set up rendezvous tools for use during final approach to the space station Sunday afternoon.

Two rendezvous rocket firings are planned to fine-tune Endeavour's approach to the lab complex, part of a carefully choreographed sequence of "burns" setting up a docking at 5:04 p.m. Sunday.

"Flight day two, we wake up and we immediately go into a rendezvous burn and at the end of the day, we also have another rendezvous burn and that'll set up docking on flight day three," flight director Mike Sarafin said before launch. "We also check out the docking system and some of the rendezvous tools that are necessary for docking and then we get into the grapple of the (heat shield inspection) boom and perform the flight-day-two inspection on the wing leading edge surfaces and nose cap."

Using Endeavour's 50-foot-long robot arm, pilot Eric Boe and Robert "Shane" Kimbrough will lock onto the 50-foot orbiter boom sensor system, or OBSS, and work through a complex sequences of movements to inspect the right wing leading edge panels, the nose cap and then the left wing using a laser scanner and camera system. The inspection is scheduled to begin shortly after 2 p.m.

The reinforced carbon carbon leading edge panels and nose cap experience the most extreme heating during re-entry and data collected today will help engineers assess the health of the critical systems. During launch Friday, flight controllers told the crew that two debris events were noticed, but there were no obvious signs of trouble.

Here is an updated timeline of today's activity (in EST and mission elapsed time; includes the initial release of the NASA television schedule):

EST........DD...HH...MM...EVENT

11/15/08
10:55 AM...00...15...00...Crew wakeup (begin flight day 2)
12:50 PM...00...16...55...NC-2 rendezvous rocket firing
01:00 PM...00...17...05...Shuttle robot arm (SRMS) unberths OBSS
01:45 PM...00...17...50...Ergometer setup
02:15 PM...00...18...20...Spacesuit checkout preps
02:15 PM...00...18...20...OBSS starboard wing survey
02:45 PM...00...18...50...Spacesuit checkout
04:00 PM...00...20...05...Crew meals begin
05:00 PM...00...21...05...OBSS nose cap survey
05:00 PM...00...21...05...Post-MMT briefing on NASA TV
05:50 PM...00...21...55...OBSS port wing survey
06:50 PM...00...22...55...Spacesuit prepped for transfer to station
07:15 PM...00...23...20...Spacesuit prepped for transfer to station
08:00 PM...00...00...05...Mission status briefing on NASA TV
08:05 PM...01...00...10...SRMS berths OBSS
08:45 PM...01...00...50...OMS rocket pod survey
08:50 PM...01...00...55...Laser inspection data downlink
09:05 PM...01...01...10...Centerline camera setup
09:35 PM...01...01...40...Orbiter docking system ring extension
09:44 PM...01...01...49...NC-3 rendezvous rocket firing
10:05 PM...01...02...10...Rendezvous tools checkout

11/16/08
01:25 AM...01...05...30...Crew sleep begins
02:00 AM...01...06...05...Daily video highlights reel on NASA TV
09:25 AM...01...13...30...Crew wakeup

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Quick-Launch Web Links:

CBS News STS-126 Status Reports:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/current.html

CBS News STS-126 Quick-Look Page:
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/currentglance.html

NASA ISS Expeditions Page:
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/index.html

NASA Shuttle Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/index.html
NASA Station Web: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/index.html
Spaceflight Now: http://spaceflightnow.com/index.html
GoogleSatTrack: http://www.lizard-tail.com/isana/tracking/

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