Today, the crews of Endeavour and the International Space Station will bid each other a final farewell and shortly after will close hatches between the two spacecraft in preparation for Endeavour's departure this afternoon.
Endeavour will leave behind the Expedition Six Crew - Commander Ken Bowersox, NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit and Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin - who are scheduled to live and work aboard the station for the next four months.
Endeavour Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington, and Expedition Five Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev are scheduled to begin those farewells at 11:15 a.m.
Endeavour is scheduled to undock from the space station at 2:05 p.m., after bringing the station a new resident crew, installing the Port One truss and transferring more than 2,500 pounds of supplies, equipment and experiments. As Endeavour gently undocks and backs slowly away from the station, the two vehicles should be flying high over Western Australia.
Shortly after undocking, the Endeavour crew will release two miniature satellites as part of an experiment referred to as MEPSI. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the two small satellites, which are tethered together, will be released from Endeavour's payload bay to fly free for three days as a technology demonstration of the launcher assembly and use of micro-and nano-technolgoies in space systems.
As the Expedition Six crew settles into its first day alone aboard the station, Endeavour's crew will begin stowing away equipment and hardware in anticipation of Wednesday's scheduled landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Weather permitting, Endeavour is scheduled to return to Earth on Wednesday at 2:48 p.m. central.
The next STS-113 mission status report will be issued Monday evening or earlier if events warrant.
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