Friday, November 28, 2008

8p 11/27 Update: Shuttle crew leaves station; preps for undocking Friday

=================================

CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 75
Posted: 8:00 PM, 11/27/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   SR-73 (11/27/08): Astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving in space
   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

=================================

8:00 PM, 11/27/08, Update: Hatches closed; shuttle set for undocking Friday

With Thanksgiving Day hugs, handshakes and broad smiles, the shuttle Endeavour's crew bid farewell to space station commander Mike Fincke, Yury Lonchakov and Sandra Magnus today before leaving the lab complex for the last time, sealing hatches between the two spacecraft and preparing for undocking Friday morning.

Gathering in the station's Harmony module and sharing their farewells with mission control via high definition television, Fincke thanked shuttle commander Christopher Ferguson and his crewmates - pilot Eric Boe, Don Pettit, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Stephen Bowen and Robert "Shane" Kimbrough - for giving the space station a makeover inside and out.

Over the course of four spacewalks, the Endeavour astronauts successfully serviced the station's damaged right-side solar array rotary joint, lubricated the port-side joint as a preventative measure, installed a spare cooling system component, removed a spent nitrogen tank, installed a new external TV camera and prepared the Japanese Kibo module for attachment of an external experiment platform next year.

Inside the station, the astronauts installed and activated a new urine recycling system that ultimately will be connected to a new toilet and galley that will permit NASA to boost the station's crew size from three to six next May. Along with the recycling equipment, the shuttle crew also delivered two sleep stations, a refrigerator/freezer and combustion research equipment.

"We'd like to say to Fergie and your crew, thank you very much for this extreme home makeover," Fincke said today. "I think we succeeded as a team, not just us guys here up in space, but the entire team down on planet Earth, across 15 different nations, it's something really incredible. You totally fixed us up on the inside and on the outside and the results speak for themselves. I think everybody's really ecstatic and I'm really proud to have worked with you. So on behalf of the space station, I'd like to say thanks for coming.

"On behalf of myself, this is the first time I've seen a space shuttle up here and I didn't know what to expect," said Fincke, who has flown to the station twice aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft. "You guys set the bar high for the next crew because boy, it was so much fun having you here and seeing you here, you guys were such perfect guests. You left the place cleaner than you found it and we tried to make it pretty clean for your arrival. And it's even better now and we're so glad."

Along with delivering more than 16,000 pounds of equipment and supplies, Endeavour also brought Magnus to the station to begin a three-month stay as a flight engineer with Expedition 18. She replaced Gregory Chamitoff, who was launched to the station May 31 and who will return to Earth aboard Endeavour.

"Greg, I'm really proud, and really glad to have served with you," Fincke said. "You've accomplished so much, just the normal day-to-day work plus all the science that you got done. I'm really proud to have served with you."

Chamitoff said "I just cannot believe six months have gone by."

"It feels like it's ending very much as it began, with the spectacular shuttle flight and the accomplishments of the shuttle crew, who gave us a makeover both inside and outside the space station, prepared us for six-person crew in the future. It's been a real pleasure to see this crew come up. After being on board for six months, mostly with three people at a time, and all the sudden there's 10 people up here and the work they've done is just amazing. It's great to see it."

Chamitoff said he had mixed feelings as he prepared to leave the station for the trip home.

"As I leave it today, I feel both happy and sad, he said. "Very sad to leave my crew because my crewmates have been just terrific and I know that I'm leaving this space station in really the best possible hands. ... And of course, I'm really happy because I'm really looking forward to seeing my family. ... I just can't wait to get home and seem my family, all my thoughts are there now."

The station's hatch was closed at 7:31 p.m. After leak checks, the shuttle astronauts planned to call it a day. They will get up around 6 a.m. Friday to begin final preparations for undocking. if all goes well, the two spacecraft will separate at 9:47 a.m. Heat shield inspections are on tap Friday afternoon with normal pre-entry tests and cabin stow Saturday. Landing back at the Kennedy Space Center is scheduled for 1:18 p.m. Sunday, weather permitting.

Here is a timeline of Friday's activity (in EST and mission elapsed time; includes revision M 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 power up
08:59 AM...13...13...04...ISS in undocking 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...ISS 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 TPS survey
03:10 PM...13...19...15...Post ISS EVA entry preps
03:35 PM...13...19...40...Nose cap TPS survey
04:25 PM...13...20...30...Port wing TPS survey
05:30 PM...13...20...35...Mission status briefing on NTV
06:30 PM...13...22...35...Laser data downlink
08:55 PM...14...01...00...Crew sleep begins
09:00 PM...14...01...05...Flight day 15 highlights on NTV


"Words can't express the thanks we have for all the folks who supported this docked mission," Ferguson said before leaving the station today. "As far as my tally is, we've accomplished all the major mission objectives and when I say we, I don't mean just the 10 of us, I mean everybody in both flight control rooms and all our supporting personnel as well.

"So with that, we'll bid a fine farewell to this Expedition 18. Good luck in the rest of their stay up here. We wish Sandy could come back with us but we know she's answering to a higher calling right now. So with that, we'll finally drag (Chamitoff) with us."

=================================

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/

=================================



Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts