Monday, May 30, 2011

Endeavour flies around completed station

Pilot Greg Johnson has begun a manual flyaround of the Internatinal Space Station, Endeavour's final spin around the outpost and the first since its assembly was declared complete.

The maneuver began at 12:20 a.m. EDT with Endeavour positioned 460 feet in front of the station as the two spacecraft flew above Europe.

Crew members will take digital pictures and high-definition video of the $100-billion station to document its condition and now complete configuration, more than 12 years after the first components were launched.

The station now has a mass of more than 900,000 pounds and more than 32,000 cubic feet of pressurized volume.

The station's primary structural truss, or backbone, stretches 357 feet from end to end. Four pairs of solar array wings span 240 feet.

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