2 a.m. CST Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-129 MCC Status Report #18
HOUSTON – Space shuttle Atlantis and its seven-astronaut crew are scheduled to leave the International Space Station at 3:53 a.m. CST.

Commander Charlie Hobaugh, Pilot Barry Wilmore and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnick, Mike Foreman, Robert Satcher Jr. and Nicole Stott, spent the night separated from their five station colleagues. Hatches between the two vehicles were closed at 12:12 p.m. Tuesday.

Shuttle crew members were awakened at 12:29 this morning with “Amazing Grace,” a selection from the 1995 movie “Braveheart,” performed by Eric Rigler on bagpipes. It was for Wilmore.

Undocking operations will begin about an hour before the separation of the two spacecraft. Wilmore will be at the controls when Atlantis leaves Pressurized Mating Adaptor 2 where it docked at 10:51 a.m. last Wednesday.

Latches will be released and springs will push the shuttle about two feet ahead of the station. Wilmore will pilot Atlantis to a point about 450 feet ahead of the station, then, at about 4:22 a.m., begin a flyaround. He will keep the cargo bay facing the orbiting laboratory so cameras there can document its condition. The shuttle will leave the area at about 5:36 a.m.

Wilmore, Melvin and Bresnik will conduct the standard late inspection of the shuttle’s thermal protection system using the robotic arm and its Orbiter Boom Sensor System extension. That is scheduled to begin at 8:18 a.m.

The Kennedy Space Center landing is scheduled for Friday at 8:44 a.m.

The next shuttle status report will be issued at the end of the crew’s workday or earlier if events warrant. The crew is due to go to sleep at 4:28 p.m.

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