Sunday, May 29, 2011

Endeavour Boosts International Space Station

Shuttle Endeavour's digital autopilot just fired the ship's smallest steering thrusters in a series of cannon-like bursts, hauling the International Space Station into a higher orbit.

The 14-minute maneuver started as the joined shuttle-station complex approached the west coast of South America, speeding along on a course that would take it over Peru and Brazil before heading out over the Atlantic Ocean Ocean.

The thruster-firing boosted the station's altitude 3,100 feet -- a little more than a half mile -- the result of a change of velocity of about three-quarters of a mile-per-hour.

The shuttle crew is busy hauling supplies and equipment between the spacecraft and packing up for a two-day trip back to Kennedy Space Center.

Endeavour is scheduled to depart the station at 11:56 p.m. tonight. Landing is scheduled for 2:35 a.m. Wednesday.

Major mission milestones and crew activities are listed in this latest revision -- Rev K -- of the STS-134 NASA TV Schedule.

The crew's detailed timeline and messages from Mission Control are in this Flight Day 14 Execute Package.

The nine astronauts and cosmonauts will say farewell during a ceremony at 6:56 a.m. and then close hatches between the spacecraft. You can watch the mission live here in The Flame Trench. Click the NASA TV box to launch our NASA TV viewer and round-the-clock coverage of Endeavour's 25th and final flight.

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