Sunday, July 26, 2009

Live In Orbit: Astronauts Aim To Stow Cargo Carrier

The Endeavour astronauts are starting to pack up their spaceship today in advance of a fifth and final spacewalk at the International Space Station and a return to Earth later this coming week.

Wielding the station's Canadian-built robotic arm, station flight engineer Tim Kopra and Endeavour pilot Doug Hurley aim to return a shuttle-launched cargo carrier to Endeavour's payload bay.

The Japanese Logistics Element -- known as JLE or 'jelly' -- will be removed from the station's new porch outside the Kibo laboratory and then grappled by the shuttle's robot arm. From there it will be maneuvered into the shuttle's cargo bay.

The carrier hauled up two science experiments and a Kibo lab communications package. All three were hoisted off the carrier and installed on the porch last Thursday.

The crane operation is one of a variety of activities on the crew's schedule today. The astronauts also will hold a joint crew news conference at 2:28 p.m. and will prepare for a fifth and final spacewalk on Monday.

You can watch mission operations here in The Flame Trench. Simply click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and be sure to refresh this page for periodic updates.

You can check out the crew's detailed timeline here in this Flight Day 12 Execute Package.

The timing of major mission events are listed in the latest revision -- Rev M -- of the STS-127 NASA TV Schedule.

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