NASA Podcasts

STS-130: Delivering a Room with a View
02.26.10
 
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Narrator: Thanks to space shuttle Endeavour and the STS-130 astronaut crew, residents of the International Space Station now have a view of home like never before.

Endeavour delivered the Italian-built Tranquility node -- and a large bay window, the cupola -- adding 2,600 cubic feet and a magnificent panorama of the Earth below.

Allard Beutel/STS-130 Launch Commentator: Nine... eight... seven... six... five... we have full main engine start... two... one... zero... booster ignition.... and liftoff of shuttle Endeavour with NASA's final space station crew compartment to bring the bay window view to our celestial backyard.

Narrator: Like a rising sun, Endeavour's spectacular February 8 launch cut through the early morning darkness and bathed Central Florida in light.

The shuttle and its crew of six astronauts rocketed away from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A at 4:14 a.m. Eastern time, beginning a two-day chase of the space station.

On board were Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts, and Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Bob Behnken, Steve Robinson and Kay Hire.

The astronauts spent their first full day in orbit inspecting Endeavour's thermal protection system, to make sure it was ready for docking.

Once Endeavour caught up with the station, Zamka guided the orbiter through a nine-minute backflip... then connected the two spacecraft as they sailed 215 miles above Earth's surface off the western coast of Portugal.

Crew members: Hey, T.J. How you doing? Good to see you. Pretty good.

Narrator: The arriving STS-130 crew joined the five Expedition 22 crew members to take on the mission's main objectives -- installing Tranquility and the cupola.

First, Hire and Virts used the station's robotic arm -- Canadarm2 -- to move Tranquility from Endeavour's payload bay to its new home on the left side of the station's Unity node.

Then, Behnken and Patrick ventured outside the complex to hook up power and utilities.

The astronauts spent several days setting up shop inside the new crew compartment. And Behnken and Patrick connected coolant lines and added hand rails outside during the mission's second spacewalk.

With Tranquility in place, it was time to move the cupola to its permanent home and open the windows.

Behnken and Patrick went outside once more, this time to remove insulation and bolts that had held the cupola's shutters in place during launch.

Finally, Virts opened the cupola's seven windows for the first time -- and let the Earth shine in.

Crew members: 360 degrees. It's amazing.

Narrator: The astronauts completed several other tasks during the mission -- moving Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 and the Dextre robotic arm to new locations, boosting the station's altitude, and delivering a variety of supplies, equipment and experiments.

The crew spent an extra day in orbit putting the finishing touches on Tranquility -- and taking a phone call from President Barack Obama, and his guests, a dozen middle-school students.

President Barack Obama: Well, it's great to talk to you guys. I wanted to first of all just say that we've got a bunch of very excited young people here with us.

Narrator: Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station after nearly 10 days together, and the STS-130 crew turned its attention to the trip home.

Endeavour and crew glided to a perfect landing February 21 on Kennedy's Runway 15, touching down on the first opportunity and wrapping up a 5.7-million-mile, 14-day mission to give the station -- and its residents -- a new room with a view.

George Zamka/STS-130 Commander: Houston, Endeavour. Wheelstop.

Rick Sturckow/STS-130 Capcom: Roger wheelstop, Endeavour. Welcome home.
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