7:30 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-118 MCC Status Report #01
The Space Shuttle Endeavour roared into a summer Florida sky on time today at 5:36 p.m. CDT, carrying to the International Space Station a crew of seven, among them teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan.
Endeavour's crew includes Commander Scott Kelly, Pilot Charles Hobaugh, Mission Specialists Tracy Caldwell, Rick Mastracchio, Dave Williams of the Canadian Space Agency, Alvin Drew and Morgan. The astronauts will attach a new piece to the station's backbone and replace a failed gyroscope. The mission will include up to four spacewalks.
The flawless climb to orbit realized a two-decade-old dream for Morgan, who was first selected by NASA in 1985 as the backup to Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe. Following the Challenger accident in 1986, Morgan continued to work with NASA on educational activities and returned to teaching elementary school in Idaho. In 1998, she was selected as an astronaut. During this mission, her primary duties are to oversee the transfer of cargo to and from the shuttle and station and assist with robotics operations. She also will take part in several education-related activities.
As Endeavour launched, the station flew 212 miles above the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Onboard, Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clayton Anderson heard that Endeavour had launched and their visitors were on the way.
Endeavour will dock to the station on Friday. The shuttle and station crews will work together to install the new car-sized segment of the station truss and the new Control Moment Gyroscope. The shuttle also will test a system that can allow Endeavour to draw electrical power from the station. If the system operates well, Endeavour's mission may be extended to 14 days.
The shuttle crew begins a sleep period at 11:36 p.m. CDT and will awaken for their first full day in space at 7:36 a.m. CDT Thursday.