The United States astronauts and Russian cosmonauts aboard the shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station paused this morning to remember and honor the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, as did many Americans across the country and citizens of nations around the world.
Joined by flight controllers in Mission Control, the crews observed the playing of the U.S. and Russian national anthems at 7:46 a.m. CST, the three-month anniversary of the first impact at the World Trade Center.
"In stark contrast to the international cooperation and unity in our effort to take mankind literally to the stars, we are reminded of our loss and sorrow due to the acts of violence and terror in an unprecedented attack on freedom, democracy and civilization itself," STS-108 Lead Flight Director Wayne Hale told the crews from Mission Control. "More than 3,000 people perished this day three months ago, including more than 200 citizens from countries that are family members of the International Space Station program -- Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Russia."
Caps honoring the New York Police Department, New York Fire Department, New York Port Authority and New York Office of Emergency Management are being displayed in Mission Control. Aboard Endeavour are U.S. flags that will be distributed to heroes and family members of victims of the attacks when the shuttle returns to Earth. Also on the shuttle are several other commemorative items, including a U.S. flag found at the World Trade Center site after the attacks.
The shuttle crew found out this morning that it will spend an extra day in space as mission managers extended Endeavour's flight to a duration of 12 days. Landing is now scheduled for Monday. The extra day will allow Endeavour's crew to assist with additional maintenance tasks on the station, including work on a treadmill and air conditioner.
The crews' work today focused on the continued transfer of equipment and supplies to and from the station. So far, more than 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments have been moved to the station from Endeavour and the Raffaello cargo module. The transferred items have included more than 850 pounds of food, 1,000 pounds of clothing and other crew provisions, 300 pounds of experiments and associated equipment, 800 pounds of space walking gear, and 600 pounds of medical equipment. Endeavour's crew will begin a sleep period at 10:19 p.m. CST tonight and awaken at 6:19 a.m. CST Wednesday, a day that will continue the packing and unpacking onboard and include the station treadmill maintenance work. The next Mission Control Status report will be issued at 7 a.m. CST or as events warrant.
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