5:30 p.m. CST Friday, Nov. 28, 2008
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-126 MCC Status Report #29
The space shuttle Endeavour and International Space Station parted ways at 8:47 a.m. CST. The shuttle crew then turned its attention to inspecting Endeavour’s heat shield to prepare for landing Sunday.

Endeavour Pilot Eric Boe, with help from Commander Chris Ferguson and other crew members, flew the orbiter away from the space station. The final separation maneuver was delayed to avoid the shuttle crossing paths with space debris. That burn was completed at 5:23 p.m.

Boe, Don Pettit and Shane Kimbrough completed the standard late inspection of Endeavour’s thermal protection system. They used the shuttle’s robotic arm and its Orbiter Boom Sensor System extension to scan the front edge of the wings and the nose cap. Experts on the ground will review the data and report their assessment to the Mission Management Team Saturday.

The entry flight control team in Mission Control, Houston, will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Endeavour to return to Earth. Sunday landing opportunities at Kennedy are at 12:19 p.m. and 1:54 p.m. The secondary landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., will be activated Sunday for consideration as well. The opportunities at Edwards are 3:24 p.m. and 4:59 p.m.

Station Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineers Yury Lonchakov and Sandra Magnus have light duty days scheduled today and Saturday before being on hand to monitor the arrival of a Progress cargo ship Sunday.

The crew is scheduled to go to bed at 7:55 p.m. and awaken at 3:55 a.m. Saturday. The next shuttle status report will be issued after crew wake up, or earlier if events warrant.

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