NASA News

11:30 p.m. CDT Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
08.29.09
STATUS REPORT : STS-128-03
STS-128 MCC Status Report #03
During their first full day in space, astronauts aboard Discovery conducted a daylong inspection of the space shuttle’s thermal protection system, checked out spacesuits and prepared to dock with the International Space Station.

With Commander Rick Sturckow at the controls, Discovery is scheduled to link up with the space station at 8:03 p.m. CDT Sunday.

Pilot Kevin Ford and mission specialists Patrick Forrester and Jose Hernandez took turns using the 50-foot-long Orbiter Boom Sensor System, attached to the shuttle’s robotic arm, to inspect the shuttle’s right wing, nose cap and left wing. Specialists on the ground will analyze the imagery to ensure the shuttle’s heat shield sustained no damage during the climb to orbit.

Working in Discovery’s middeck, mission specialists Danny Olivas, Christer Fuglesang and Nicole Stott completed a two-hour checkout of the spacesuits that will be used during three spacewalks planned for the docked phase of the mission. They conducted leak checks on the suits and prepared them for transfer to the station.

Docking preparations occupied the remainder of the crew’s workday. The crew tested equipment that will be used for rendezvous operations. Forrester and Fuglesang installed an Orbiter Docking System centerline camera and extended the outer ring atop the docking system.

Awaiting Discovery’s arrival at the station are Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Michael Barratt, Tim Kopra, Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk of the Canadian Space Agency and Frank De Winne of the European Space Agency. The station crew members spent the day preparing for the seven new visitors by reviewing photography procedures they will use to capture images of Discovery’s underside as Sturckow pilots a back flip during the approach to the station. Padalka and Barratt will use digital cameras with 400 and 800 millimeter lenses to snap detailed photos of the shuttle’s heat shield tiles.

The shuttle crew is scheduled to begin its eight-hour sleep period at 4:29 a.m. Sunday.

The next status report will be issued after wake-up at 12:29 p.m. Sunday, or earlier if events warrant.

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