Sunday, March 06, 2011

Shuttle Astronauts Stage Orbital Fun-Fest

Discovery's astronauts are taking full advantage of their extra day at the International Space Station, staging an orbital gymnastics tournament in the storage unit they delivered to the outpost.

About a half-hour before a farewell ceremony, shuttle mission specialists Nicole Stott, Alvin Drew and Stephen Bowen took time to spin, flip and do barrel rolls in orbit with the help of station skipper Scott Kelly. They clearly were having fun in weightlessness, running circles from the floor to the walls and ceiling.

"Looks like there are some people playing hamster wheel in the (Permanent Multipurpose Module)" NASA astronaut Stan Love said from Mission Control in Houston.

Discovery pilot Eric Boe joined the fun before Mission Control called an end to recess. There were a couple of last-minute chores that had to be done before hatches between the joined spacecraft are closed.

You can watch the final farewell ceremony here in The Flame Trench at 3:33 p.m. Click the NASA TV box to launch our NASA TV viewer and live coverage.

Here are a couple more shots of the orbital fun-fest:

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