Text Size

Transcript: Discovery Flips, Heads to Station
+ View Video Now (mp4)

MISSION CONTROL: Discovery now conducting the rendezvous pitch maneuver.

This view provided by a camera on the outside of the International Space Station looking down at the orbiter about 600 feet below.

The Space Shuttle Discovery is stationary in that point below the space station as Commander Steve Lindsey commands the shuttle through a nose-forward three-quarter of a degree per second rotational backflip to allow the International Space Station crewmembers to photograph Discovery's heat shield.

The two vehicles now passing about 209 statute miles over Spain.

During this rendezvous pitch maneuver the International Space Station crewmembers are using digital cameras equipped with 400 mm and 800 mm lenses.

The 400 mm lens provides up to three inch resolution and the 800 mm lens can provide up to one inch resolution as well as detect gap filler protrusions of greater than a quarter of an inch.

Since the STS-114 mission when this maneuver and photography was initiated, additional zones were added for the 800 mm lens to focus on the gap fillers on Discovery's belly, as during the STS-114 mission those gap fillers were observed. These photographs will focus in on those areas in addition to the other prescribed areas.

The images being obtained by Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams will be downlinked to Mission Control, Houston, as soon as possible for engineers to analyze and add to the wealth of imagery and data being evaluated to determine the health of Discovery's heat shield in advance of its return to Earth and landing at the end of mission.

This is Mission Control, Houston. The Space Shuttle Discovery continuing to go through a rendezvous pitch maneuver under the command of Steve Lindsey on board the aft flight deck of the orbiter.

The imagery that the space station crew is providing includes the upper surfaces of the shuttle as well as the Discovery's belly, nose landing gear door seals, the main landing gear door seals and elevon cove.

DISCOVERY: Alpha, Discovery. You can end photos.

End photos.

MISSION CONTROL: The Space Shuttle Discovery will complete its rotation returning to an orientation with its payload bay facing the station. The window for photography has been completed. That entire window is one minute and 33 seconds long, allowing the International Space Station crew to photograph the Space Shuttle Discovery about 600 feet below the complex.

Once Discovery completes its rotation, Commander Lindsey will move Discovery up to the V-bar or velocity vector, which is the direction of travel for both spacecraft to be about 400 feet in front of the station.

+ View Video Now (mp4)