Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Endeavour Astronauts Scan Shuttle Heat Shield

The Endeavour astronauts are in the midst of an extensive survey of the shuttle heat-shield components designed to help determine whether their spaceship sustained critical damage during launch that might jeopardize they crew upon atmospheric reentry.

With a 50-foot inspection boom attached to the shuttle's equally lengthy robot arm, the astronauts are scanning the composite carbon nose cap of the Endeavour orbiter. No apparent damage was spotted during a survey of the spaceship's starboard wing. The astronauts also will inspect wing panels on the portside wing of the orbiter.

The inspections are expected to take the majority of the crew's first full day in space.

You can watch the inspections live here in The Flame Trench. Click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and live coverage. And be sure to refresh this page for periodic updates.

You can check out the timing of major mission milestones in this latest version -- Rev C -- of the NASA TV Schedule.

For a more detailed look at the crew's schedule, and to see a chicken in a spacesuit, check out the Flight Day 2 Execute Package.

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