7:30 p.m. CST Friday, Nov. 14, 2008
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-126 MCC Status Report #01
Space shuttle Endeavour lit the Florida night sky with a 6:55 p.m. CST launch on a mission to outfit the International Space Station for a larger crew and improve the function of a solar array rotary joint.

Aboard the shuttle are Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe and mission specialists Don Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus. The station crew, Commander Mike Fincke and flight engineers Yury Lonchakov and Greg Chamitoff, watched the Kennedy Space Center launch on a special television feed from Mission Control.

Magnus will become a station crew member, beginning a three-month stay shortly after docking. She will replace Chamitoff, who will return to Earth aboard Endeavour to end his six-month stay in space.

During the 15-day mission, spacewalking crew members Piper, Bowen and Kimbrough will rotate on four spacewalks. Most of their time outside will focus on fixing the ailing starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint. They also will replace a depleted nitrogen tank, relocate hand-propelled carts that run along the rails of the station's main truss and lubricate the grapple fixture on the end of the station's Canadarm2. Additionally, they will install global positioning system antennas and a new television camera on the truss.

Endeavour will deliver to the station water recycling racks, a second toilet, a new exercise device, food warmers, a refrigerator, an experiment freezer and a combustion science experiment rack. Much of the material brought up by Endeavour is in the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo, to be removed from the shuttle cargo bay Monday and attached to the station for unloading.

The crew will begin a sleep period at about 1:55 a.m. Saturday and awaken at 9:55 a.m. The next shuttle status report will be issued after crew wakeup, or earlier if events warrant.

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