Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Live in orbit: heat shield surveys complete

Blogger update, 10:44 a.m.: Endeavour's robotic arm boom extension has been stowed in the shuttle payload bay.

Space shuttle Endeavour's crew has finished today's heat shield inspection two hours ahead of schedule.

The crew will soon begin stowing the 50-foot boom extension used to survey the orbiter's wing leading edges and nose cap.

Analysts on the ground will review the inspection images and determine Endeavour's fitness for a Friday landing no later than Thursday afternoon.

Coming up, there's a Mission Status Briefing planned at 12:30 p.m. EDT from Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Around 3 p.m., Endeavour's jets will fire for the third of four planned burns to separate it from the International Space Station.

Endeavour commander Mark Polansky, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialist Julie Payette led the inspection work.

Four other astronauts - mission specialists Chris Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Koichi Wakata and Dave Wolf - were busy stowing gear including the spacesuits used during five spacewalks at the International Space Station.

Endeavour is preparing for a planned 10:48 a.m. EDT landing Friday at Kennedy Space Center.

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

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


Anonymous said...

About the device that was meant to be installed to hold spare parts but wasn' that being brought back to Earth to be installed on another mission, or is it going to be shelved and never used?

Todd Halvorson said...


The Payload Attachment System, I'm pretty sure, was left at the station. It needs to be installed before STS-129 in November because an spare parts carrier is to be attached to it on the mission.