Friday, November 28, 2008

950a 11/28: Shuttle undocks from space station

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CBS NEWS STS-126 STATUS REPORT: 77
Posted: 9:50 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
   SR-77 (11/28/08): Endeavour undocks from space station

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9:50 AM, 11/28/08, Update: Shuttle Endeavour undocks from space station

With pilot Eric Boe at the controls, the shuttle Endeavour undocked from the international space station today at 9:47 a.m. to wrap up a marathon assembly mission, leaving astronaut Sandy Magnus behind with the Expedition 18 crew and taking Gregory Chamitoff in her place after six months in space.

"Physical sep, Houston," an astronaut called as powerful springs gently pushed Endeavour way from the station's forward docking port. Undocking occurred in orbital darkness as the two spacecraft sailed 220 miles above Taiwan.

"Endeavour, departing," Magnus radioed, following naval tradition by ringing the ship's bell aboard the station.

"Thank you Sandy, it was great working with you guys," shuttle commander Christopher Ferguson radioed from Endeavour's flight deck.

"And Endeavour, this is the international space station," Expedition 18 commander Mike Fincke called. "Thanks for the incredible makeover and leaving the station in fantastic shape. Thanks to your heroic efforts, we are one step closer to a six-person crew. From the international space station, Godspeed, soft landing."

"We copy, ISS, thanks," Ferguson said. "Even from 25 feet you look better."

"Copy that, and thanks Fergie, see you guys in a few months," Magnus said.

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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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