4 p.m. CST Monday, March 7, 2011
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-133 MCC Status Report #23
HOUSTON – Discovery undocked from the International Space Station at 6 a.m. CST, ending a stay of eight days, 16 hours and 46 minutes.
As the shuttle moved away, Station Commander Scott Kelly praised the cooperation among crew members of both spacecraft. Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey said the team effort had allowed them “to accomplish well over 100 percent of our objectives.”
Pilot Eric Boe flew the orbiter in a vertical circle around the station while crew members took pictures of the station to document its condition. One big change from the previous fly-around by Atlantis during STS-132 last May was the addition of the Permanent Multipurpose Module brought up by Discovery. The circle complete, Discovery did two separation burns to take it away from the station.
Lindsey later had words for Bryan Lunney, the lead STS-133 shuttle flight director working his last shift before leaving NASA. “Bryan has been a great friend, a terrific flight director and a leader. We’re going to really miss him,” the Discovery commander radioed down during a farewell gathering in Mission Control.
Lindsey, Boe and Mission Specialist Alvin Drew devoted much of their day to the standard late inspection of the heat resistant reinforced carbon-carbon surfaces. Using the robotic arm and its 50-foot orbiter boom sensor system extension, they began the inspection just after 10 a.m. with a look at the right wing.
The subsequent nose cap inspection was followed by a look at the left wing. Images and data from the survey are sent to the ground for evaluation by experts. They will make sure no damage to the thermal protection system occurred during its stay in orbit.
The crew is to begin its sleep period at 6:23 p.m.
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