Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shuttle Endeavour Crew Set For 10th Day In Space

The Endeavour astronauts aim to tackle their 10th day in space today, inspecting shuttle heat shield components for damage, chatting up reporters from around the globe and prepping for a fourth and final planned spacewalk during their stay at the International Space Station.

With a sensor-laden, 50-foot inspection boom latched to the shuttle's equally lengthy robot arm, the astronauts will scan the starboard wing, nose cap and port wing for any damage that might have been caused in the past week by micrometeoroids or orbital debris.

The survey is being done while the shuttle is still docked at the station because the inspection boom will be left on the outpost.

Several Tucson television stations will interview shuttle astronauts beginning at 11:02 p.m. EDT. There is a high level of interest from TV stations in that area because shuttle mission commander Mark Kelly is married to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., the congresswoman critically wounded in a Jan. 8 assassination attempt in Tucson.

A traditional joint crew news conference is scheduled for 5:42 a.m., and the astronauts will review procedures for the upcoming spacewalk at 7:51 a.m. In preparation for that excursion, mission specialists Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff will camp out in the station's Quest airlock starting at 10:21 a.m.

The spacewalk remains scheduled to start at 12:46 a.m. Friday.

You can follow the action here in The Flame Trench. Click the NASA TV box on the right to launch our NASA TV viewer and round-the-clock coverage of the nation's next-to-last shuttle flight.

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