Sunday, November 16, 2008

945a 11/16 Update: Crew awake; station rendezvous, docking on tap

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CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 18
Posted: 9:40 AM, 11/16/08

By William Harwood
CBS News Space Analyst

Changes and additions:

   SR-16 (11/15/08): MMT briefing; KU antenna glitches; lost insulation strip discussed
   SR-17 (11/15/08): Mission status briefing; presumed lost insulation still in place; analysis continues
   SR-18 (11/16/08): Shuttle closes in on space station; crew awake

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9:40 AM, 11/16/08, Update: Shuttle Endeavour closes in on space station

The shuttle Endeavour is closing in on the international space station today, on track for a docking around 5:04 p.m. The shuttle astronauts were awakened at 9:25 a.m. by a recording of the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up" transmitted from mission control in Houston.

"Good morning, Endeavour. And a special good morning to you today, Sandy," astronaut Shannon Lucid called from the control center.

"And good morning, Shannon," space station flight engineer Sandra Magnus replied from the shuttle. "I want to thank my family for that music and I'm looking forward to moving into my new home today."

Magnus will remain behind aboard the station when Endeavour undocks Thanksgiving day or the day after, replacing outgoing flight engineer Gregory Chamitoff, who was launched to the outpost last June. Chamitoff will return to Earth in Magnus' place aboard Endeavour.

Today's terminal rendezvous sequence begins at 2:26 p.m. Trailing the station by about 9.2 miles, commander Chris Ferguson will fire the shuttle's maneuvering rockets to begin a slow approach, moving into position about 600 feet directly below the lab complex by around 4 p.m. At that point, he plans to guide Endeavour through a slow back flip, exposing the shuttle's belly to the station for a heat shield photo survey by the lab's crew. Those pictures, taken with 400-mm and 800-mm telephoto lenses, will be downlinked to Houston to help engineers assess the health of the shuttle's thermal protection system.

Because of on-going problems, the shuttle's KU-band antenna system may not work in radar mode today. If not, Ferguson and his crewmates will use Endeavour's star trackers to supply long-range navigation data, a backup procedure that has been used in at least one previous station rendezvous. Ferguson and his crewmates are trained in the procedure and flight controllers do not expect any difficulty if the radar does, in fact, fail to operate properly.

After the rendezvous (or rotational) pitch maneuver, or RPM, is complete, Ferguson will guide Endeavour up to a point about 300 feet directly in front of the station. From there, with the shuttle's nose pointed toward deep space and its open payload bay facing the station, Ferguson will manually guide the orbiter to a docking at a port on the front of the Harmony module around 5:04 p.m.

Here is an updated timeline of today's activity (in EST and mission elapsed time; supersedes rev. A of NASA's TV schedule; rendezvous times approximate):

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

11/16/08
09:25 AM...01...13...30...STS/ISS crew wakeup (begin FD-3)
11:15 AM...01...15...20...Group B computer powerup
11:25 AM...01...15...30...ISS daily planning conference
11:30 AM...01...15...35...Rendezvous timeline begins
12:10 PM...01...16...15...NH rendezvous rocket firing
12:30 PM...01...16...35...Spacesuits removed from airlock
12:52 PM...01...16...57...NC-4 rendezvous rocket firing
02:04 PM...01...18...09...ISS in docking orientation

02:26 PM...01...18...31...TI burn
03:02 PM...01...19...07...Sunset
03:19 PM...01...19...24...U.S. solar arrays feathered
03:24 PM...01...19...29...Range: 10,000 feet
03:33 PM...01...19...38...Range: 5,000 feet
03:36 PM...01...19...41...Sunrise
03:38 PM...01...19...43...Range: 3,000 feet
03:43 PM...01...19...48...MC-4 rendezvous burn
03:47 PM...01...19...52...Range: 1,500 feet
03:49 PM...01...19...54...RPM start window open
03:52 PM...01...19...57...Range: 1,000 feet
03:55 PM...01...20...00...KU antenna to low power
03:56 PM...01...20...01...+R bar arrival directly below ISS
04:01 PM...01...20...06...Range: 600 feet
04:03 PM...01...20...08...Start pitch maneuver
04:05 PM...01...20...10...Noon
04:11 PM...01...20...16...End pitch maneuver
04:12 PM...01...20...17...RPM full photo window close
04:13 PM...01...20...18...Initiate pitch up maneuver (575 ft)
04:21 PM...01...20...26...RPM start window close
04:25 PM...01...20...30...+V bar arrival; range: 310 feet
04:26 PM...01...20...31...Range: 300 feet
04:30 PM...01...20...35...Range: 250 feet
04:33 PM...01...20...38...Sunset
04:34 PM...01...20...39...Range: 200 feet
04:36 PM...01...20...41...Range: 170 feet
04:38 PM...01...20...43...Range: 150 feet
04:42 PM...01...20...47...Range: 100 feet
04:43 PM...01...20...48...Russian ground station AOS
04:45 PM...01...20...50...Range: 75 feet
04:49 PM...01...20...54...Range: 50 feet
04:53 PM...01...20...58...Range: 30 feet; start stationkeeping
04:58 PM...01...21...03...End stationkeeping; push to dock
05:02 PM...01...21...07...Range: 10 feet

05:04 PM...01...21...09...DOCKING

05:08 PM...01...21...13...Sunrise
05:25 PM...01...21...30...Leak checks
05:30 PM...01...21...35...Post docking laptop reconfig
05:55 PM...01...22...00...Orbiter docking system prepped for ingress
06:00 PM...01...22...05...Group B computer powerdown
06:15 PM...01...22...20...Hatch open
06:45 PM...01...22...50...Welcome aboard!
06:55 PM...01...23...00...Safety briefing
07:25 PM...01...23...25...Shuttle-station power transfer system activation
07:30 PM...01...23...35...Soyuz seatliner transfer/installation
07:30 PM...01...23...35...Mission status briefing on NASA TV
07:30 PM...01...23...35...SSRMS grapples OBSS
08:00 PM...02...00...05...SSRMS unberths OBSS
09:00 PM...02...01...05...SRMS grapples OBSS
09:30 PM...02...01...35...SSRMS ungrapples OBSS
09:45 PM...02...01...50...SOKOL suit leak check
10:20 PM...02...02...25...Docking video playback

11/17/08
Mon 12:55 AM...02...05...00...ISS crew sleep begins
Mon 01:25 AM...02...05...30...STS crew sleep begins

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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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