Friday, November 28, 2008

740a 11/28 Update: Shuttle undocking on tap

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CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 76
Posted: 7:40 AM, 11/28/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   SR-74 (11/27/08): Shuttle crew beams down Thanksgiving greetings; Pettit demonstrate weightless toasts
   SR-75 (11/27/08): Shuttle astronauts leave station, prepare for undocking Friday
   SR-76 (11/28/08): Astronauts gear up for undocking

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7:40 AM, 11/28/08, Update: Astronauts gear up for undocking

The Endeavour astronauts are preparing to undock from the international space station to close out a marathon assembly mission. The crew was wakened around 5:55 a.m. today by a recording of Spacehog's "In the Meantime" beamed up from mission control.

"Endeavour, Houston, good morning," astronaut Shannon Lucid called from Houston. "A special good morning to you today, Eric."

"Good morning, Shannon," pilot Eric Boe replied. "My wife first sent me that song when I was deployed on the other side of the world. It's good to hear it again now that I'm deployed up here. I'd like to thank my family. ... It's a good day for an undock and fly-around."

Boe, commander Chris Ferguson, Don Pettit, returning space station flight engineer Gregory Chamitoff and spacewalkers Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Stephen Bowen and Robert "Shane" Kimbrough plan to undock from the international space station at 9:47 a.m. to end a record 11.7 days of docked operations.

Manually flying the shuttle from Endeavour's aft flight deck, Boe will pull straight away in front of the lab complex and then initiate a looping fly-around, passing above, behind, below and back out in front of the station before firing thrusters to leave the area for good.

"I am really looking forward to getting a chance to undock and do the fly around," Boe told CBS News before launch. "The views we're going to get, the sun angles are going to be really good for us. For me personally, it'll be really exciting to get the chance to fly around the structure and just see the dynamics. I've seen it in the simulator many times, but seeing it in real life and how things really work, there are always differences between the simulated stuff and the way it actually looks outside."

Beginning around 1:50 p.m., the astronauts plan to carry out a final inspection of Endeavour's reinforced carbon carbon nose cap and wing leading edge panels to make sure no damage from space debris has occurred since an identical inspection the day after launch. The crew will go to bed around 8:55 p.m.

Saturday is a standard day-before-landing preparation day, with flight control system checkout, a test of the shuttle's steering jets, cabin stow, pressure suit checkout and setup of a reclining seat for Chamitoff, who will be returning to the unfamiliar tug of Earth's gravity after a six-month stay aboard the station.

An unmanned Russian Progress supply ship is scheduled to dock at the station at 7:23 a.m. Sunday, about an hour before the Endeavour astronauts move into their deorbit timeline. If all goes well, Ferguson and Boe will fire the shuttle's braking rockets at 12:14 p.m. Sunday for a landing 1:19 p.m. on runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center to close out a 16-day mission.

Here is a timeline of today's activity (in EST and mission elapsed time; includes revision N of the NASA television schedule):

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

11/28/08
05:55 AM...13...10...00...Crew wakeup
07:25 AM...13...11...30...ISS daily planning conference
08:05 AM...13...12...10...Group B computer powerup
08:59 AM...13...13...04...ISS in undockling orientation
08:59 AM...13...13...04...U.S. solar arrays feathered
09:00 AM...13...13...05...Undocking timeline begins
09:03 AM...13...13...08...Noon
09:30 AM...13...13...35...Sunset

09:47 AM...13...13...52...UNDOCKING

09:48 AM...13...13...53...ISS holds attitude
09:48 AM...13...13...55...Docking port depressurization
09:52 AM...13...13...57...Range: 50 feet; reselect -X jets
09:54 AM...13...13...59...Range 75 feet; low Z
10:06 AM...13...14...11...Sunrise
10:16 AM...13...14...21...Range: 400 feet; start fly around
10:25 AM...13...14...30...Range: 600 feet
10:27 AM...13...14...32...Shuttle directly above ISS
10:34 AM...13...14...39...Noon
10:39 AM...13...14...44...Shuttle directly behind ISS
10:50 AM...13...14...55...Shuttle directly below ISS
11:01 AM...13...15...06...Separation burn No. 1
11:02 AM...13...15...07...Sunset
11:29 AM...13...15...34...Separation burn No. 2
12:14 PM...13...16...19...Separation burn No. 3
12:20 PM...13...16...25...Crew meal
01:20 PM...13...17...25...Group B computer powerdown
01:25 PM...13...17...30...Post undocking computer reconfig
01:40 PM...13...17...45...EVA unpack and stow
01:50 PM...13...17...55...Starboard wing survey
03:10 PM...13...19...15...Post ISS EVA entry preps
03:35 PM...13...19...40...Nose cap survey
04:25 PM...13...20...30...Port wing survey
05:30 PM...13...20...35...Mission status briefing on NTV
06:30 PM...13...22...35...Laser scan data downlink
08:55 PM...14...01...00...STS crew sleep begins
09:00 PM...14...01...05...Flight day 15 highlights on NTV

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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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