Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Live in orbit: Endeavour, station crews say goodbye

Blogger update, 12:57 p.m.: A poll of mission managers produced a "go" for Endeavour's undocking. It's scheduled for 1:26 p.m. but could come a few mintues early.

Blogger update, 11:11 a.m.: Station and shuttle hatches were officially declared closed at 11:08 a.m. EDT.

The historic first orbital union of 13 astronauts on one spacecraft is over, after the crew of shuttle Endeavour this morning bid goodbye to its counterparts on the International Space Station.

"They've been tremendous hosts and we've really enjoyed our stay," Endeavour commander Mark Polansky said to station commander Gennady Padalka and five other full-time residents just after 10:30 a.m.

"It was just a wonderful, wonderful experience to be part of the first crew of 13 people up here and to have representatives from all the international partners, which made it a very special event. We wish you all a safe journey for the rest of your increment as we head back home. Thank you, Gennady."

"Endeavour's team made very great job," said Padalka a Russian cosmonaut. "We will miss you. Have a safe trip. We will be looking forward to seeing you again on the ground."

The two crews exchanged handshakes and hugs and waved goodbye to the camera before the seven shuttle astronauts floated from the station's Harmony node through the pressurized vestibule between the two vehicles.

Hatches are in the process of being closed, a process that takes about 30 minutes.

Endeavour is scheduled to depart the station at 1:26 p.m., when hooks and latches holding the orbiter will unlock and springs will push it back from the outpost.

1 comment:

ray said...

My congratulations to all the crew members and to those who were involved in this remarkable achievement of mankind. Let NASA continue with its efforts in exploring the space and hope the U.S government reacts quickly in saving NASA from the impact of global recession. The recent economic downturn has put pressure on our government to decrease unnecessary spending. nasa is a vulnerable organization with discretionary funding that could possibly be slashed to save funds. The newly elected administration will decide nasa’s future fate. President-elect Barack Obama has promised funds to nasa but it is questionable if he will be able to keep all of his promises. He will have to cut things out of the budget. In our struggle to get stop this economic downturn, some sacrifices will need to be made and not every government funded organization will be satisfied with the funds they receive. nasa is in a dilemma with the proposed retirement of the space shuttle in 2010.

Interesting link on how global crisis has impacted NASA
link " http://en.oboulo.com/what-tough-economic-times-may-mean-for-nasa-63382.html ">