11 a.m. CDT Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-128 MCC Status Report #22
After closing the hatches between the two spacecraft last night, the two crews aboard space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station prepare to undock today.
The wakeup song, “Beautiful Day” by U2, was played at 10 a.m. CDT for the shuttle’s newest crew member, Mission Specialist Tim Kopra. Kopra is returning to Earth with the STS-128 crew after 44 days on the space station as a member of the Expedition 20 crew.
Kopra, joined by shuttle commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Kevin Ford and mission specialists Pat Forrester, Jose Hernandez, Danny Olivas, and Christer Fuglesang, will focus on preparations for the undocking from the station.
They are scheduled to undock from the station at 2:26 p.m. Once safely separated from the orbiting complex by about 450 feet, Ford will conduct a flyaround of the space station. The maneuver provides an opportunity to get video of the station that can be used to inspect for damage or general condition of the vehicle’s exterior. A final separation burn is expected at 4:09 p.m.
Later, the shuttle crew will again engage the shuttle robotic arm, its extension boom and cameras for a last look at the thermal protection system to check for any damage. Once complete, they will stow the arm back on the payload bay sill.
The next shuttle status report will be issued near the end of the crew’s workday, or earlier if events warrant. The shuttle crew is due to go to sleep about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
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