NASA News

9:00 a.m. CST Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
11.16.08
STATUS REPORT : STS-126-04
STS-126 MCC Status Report #04
It’s arrival day. The space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station a little after 4 p.m. CST.

The seven members of shuttle Endeavour’s crew, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe and mission specialists Don Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus, were awakened at 8:25 a.m. CST for rendezvous and docking day. The wakeup music was “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones. It was played for Magnus.

Endeavour’s approach to the station includes a photo session. When the spacecraft is about 600 feet below the station, Ferguson will fly the spacecraft through the rendezvous pitch maneuver. That nine-minute backflip lets the station crew take high resolution photos of the shuttle’s thermal protection system.

Station Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke will use a digital camera with an 800 mm lens and Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff will have a camera with a 400 mm lens. From windows of the station’s Zvezda service module they will take as many as 300 photos, which will be analyzed by engineers to make sure the thermal protection system is safe for re-entry.

Ferguson, with help from the rest of the crew, will then fly Endeavour to a point about 400 feet in front of the station. There he will begin the final approach, at about a tenth of a foot per second. He will keep the docking mechanisms aligned to a three-inch tolerance as Endeavour moves to a docking with Pressurized Mating Adaptor 2 at the forward end of the station’s Harmony node

Shortly after docking, hatch opening and a safety briefing, Magnus will become a member of the Expedition 18 crew. She and station Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov will install her custom seat liner in the Soyuz TMA spacecraft docked to the station. At that time, Chamitoff will become a member of the Endeavour crew.

Transfer of equipment and supplies between Endeavour and the station is scheduled to begin about three hours after docking. The crew is scheduled to go to bed at 12:25 a.m. Monday and be awakened at 8:25 a.m. The next shuttle status report will be issued at the end of the crew day, or earlier if events warrant.

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