Thursday, July 30, 2009

Live in Orbit: First satellite launched, 2nd ready

The first of two satellite launches from the shuttle payload bay was accomplished about 8:30 a.m EDT.

Students from rival institutions, the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M, built the twin miniature satellites that will separate and collect Global Positioning System data to advance autonomous rendezvous and docking techniques.

A second small satellite will be deployed at 1:22 p.m. EDT. It will study the atmosphere.

The earlier failure of one of 44 flight control thrusters will not affect control of Endeavour on re-entry Friday. The forward jet failed during a routine test this morning. Other jets will take over the job done by the failed jet.

"It's not an issue," a NASA spokesman said.

Otherwise, the flight control system passed a checkout of the shuttle's control surfaces and electronics.

Endeavour's crew of seven astronauts plan a 10:48 a.m. EDT Friday landing at Kennedy Space Center. A second landing attempt would be at 12:23 p.m. EDT.

For a third consecutive day, important NASA business is taking place at the same time as the mission.

You can continue to watch live coverage of Endeavour's mission by clicking here to open the live video feed of NASA TV's Public Channel.

For live coverage of today's Human Space Flight Plans committee meeting in Cocoa Beach, click here to open the live video feed of NASA TV's Media Channel.

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