Monday, May 16, 2011

Heat Shield Check On Tap For Shuttle Crew

Shuttle Endeavour and six astronauts are en route to the International Space Station after a spectacular launch Monday from Kennedy Space Center.

On tap during the crew's first full day in space: A thorough inspection of Endeavour's nose cap as well as its port and starboard wings. The checkout of the heat shield components is done with a sensor laden extension boom that will be latched to the end of the shuttle's robot arm. The inspection has been standard operating procedure during all post-Columbia missions.

The astronauts also will be checking out their spacesuits in advance of the last four planned spacewalks in the shuttle program, and they'll prep the shuttle's docking system for a link-up Wednesday at the International Space Station.

You can follow the action right here in The Flame Trench. Click the NASA TV box on the right to launch our NASA TV viewer and live coverage.

Check out the NASA TV schedule HERE.

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