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  STS-126: ISS Extreme Home Improvements [Flight Day Journal] (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   STS-126: ISS Extreme Home Improvements [Flight Day Journal]
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-03-2008 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The six astronauts who launched on space shuttle Endeavour returned to Houston on Monday, where they were greeted at Ellington Field by their family, friends and NASA Johnson Space Center training and ground support teams. The following are excerpts from the crew members' comments delivered at their homecoming:

Commander Chris Ferguson

"What a cool job we all have. I mean, we put people in space, and payloads in space, and we bring them home on a fairly regular basis. And that is extremely unique."

"You know, no matter how many mistakes I tried to make, these guys just would not let me make a mistake."

"We can't leave out Sandy Magnus. Much to our disappointment, but I am sure to her joy, we had to leave her aboard the International Space Station and she's there today doing an awful lot of work."

"Heide had a lot of press time on this mission and she handled it all absolutely wonderfully. She had some of the most eloquent, well thought out and clear responses to some of the toughest questions that the media could pose to an on orbit crew and she did a fantastic job."

"Our transfer team was led by none other than Don 'MPLM' Pettit."

"You know, I've heard Don say a couple times -- actually, I am making this all up but it is good anyway -- that there's no rack that you can put in an MPLM that I can't transfer two days early. And that's exactly what Don did."

"The one unsung crew member who is quietly recuperating in a horizontal position is Greg Chamitoff, who spent six months on the space station. You know, coming back and readapting to [gravity] is not an easy thing to do. Greg was instrumental in our success up there because he was the all around go-for guy. 'Greg, help me find this, Greg help me to do this, Greg can you show me where this is, Greg can you show me where that is,' and he never skipped a beat. He had a lot of personal things to do and he did it all absolutely wonderfully."

"When we are sitting at 600 feet underneath the space station, you're looking up at this huge, behemoth in space and you figure out that the guy who wrote "Star Wars" got it right. I mean, this is what it looks like when you bring two huge spacecraft together in space. It is truly an awe-inspiring feeling and an awe-inspiring sight that I wish I could convey in words... of just how incredibly astounding that view is. It is beautiful."

Pilot Eric Boe
"One of the highlights of the flight for me was the undock and fly-around. It was really great getting to fly Endeavour around on the fly-around and the thing that was truly amazing was how well Endeavour handled. Really smooth, just a joy to fly."

"And the other thing I really enjoyed was the stunning view of the space station as we flew around."

"I think the thing I enjoyed most was watching the flight deck crew with all the friends that we have here working together as a team, working with the space station team and also working with the mission control team. It was truly awesome."

Mission Specialist Don Pettit

"When you are in weightlessness it is amazing the narrow crack you could slither into. When you do that in the MPLM you'll find that people... have hidden stuff back there for you to unpack. It may be just this little nook and cranny and there you'll find just a bunch of dry wipes or some Huggies [wet wipes] or something like that for us to offload onto station."
Mission Specialist Steve Bowen
"One of the most amazing things for me when we arrived at the space station was getting on-board and transferring the new environmental control systems, the water recovery system, the urine processor, etc., the science racks... there's a lot more room for a lot more science so let's fill those holes in and we can always find new ways to improve our habitability. That will be a great opportunity for days to come."
Mission Specialist Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper
"The reporter asked me if I had any, I don't know if it was regrets, about doing a non-glamorous EVA. Going out and working with grease. There's no EVA that's a bad EVA. It's a tremendous experience to be able to go outside the vehicle and just look back, you look back at the shuttle, you look back at the station, and you've seen it before, we've seen it in training, we see it in the VR lab, and the NBL, but to see it in real is just incredible. It doesn't matter what you are doing out there, it's just the fact that we were allowed to go outside. If you want to call it a non-glamorous task because we were working with grease than so be it. But knowing that at the end of the four EVAs and waking up after flight day 11 and on flight day 12 and hearing the news that the SARJ was back working was just great. It means we made a difference."
Mission Specialist Shane Kimbrough
"We had a lot of robotics on this mission. Almost every day it seemed like we were doing something unique and different. We were working both arms, the space station arm and the space shuttle arm. Both arms flew beautifully."

"As soon as we got up into space, a few hours after that, Eric and I were getting the arm powered up and ready to go on the space shuttle. Then the first morning after we woke up, we spent the whole day flying the arm and inspecting the underside of the vehicle to make sure we didn't have any damage from ascent."

"On the space station robotic arm, I got the privilege of flying it with Don Pettit, and we got to pull out that big Leonardo logistics module, stick it on the space station and Don got to work after that unloading it. And then a few days ago, we got to detach it and put it back in the payload bay. And that was a real thrill. The arm just flew wonderfully."

"And then Don and Sandy got a chance to fly during the two of the spacewalks by the arm, and I got the privilege of riding on the end of it. It was such a smooth ride. It was just awesome."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-03-2008 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Endeavour is about to make its cross-country journey back to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Technicians at Dryden Flight Research Center focused today on purging Endeavour's fuel cells, offloading residual propellants from the orbiter's thruster tanks, deactivating the main propulsion system and powering down the shuttle.

On Monday, technicians installed the covers over the flight deck windows, secured the main engine nozzles and dried the engine area after positioning workstands around the shuttle. They also unloaded flight crew systems and experiments and performed inspections of the shuttle's middeck area.

NASA is hoping to have the orbiter ready to depart by Sunday morning, December 7, although the schedule is fluid and the ferry flight could begin later. Endeavour will be flown back to Florida on the back of the modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-05-2008 09:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Turnaround processing for Endeavour continues in preparation for the shuttle's ferry flight back to the Kennedy Space Center this weekend.

On Thursday, technicians completed draining residual propellants and other chemicals from Endeavour's systems and secured its pyrotechnic devices. The main landing gear tires were replaced with roll around tires on Thursday night.

Friday's progress included retracting the work stand from around the engine nozzles, bringing the aerodynamic tailcone into position and installing ballast to ensure center of gravity balancing during the ferry flight.

Lifting and mounting the orbiter atop the Boeing 747 carrier aircraft is expected to take up most of Saturday.

Takeoff from Edwards' main runway should occur no earlier than about 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, but could be delayed by weather or technical issues. Managers are looking to use Runway 22 to the southwest at this time, although wind conditions could require a switch to Runway 04 and a takeoff to the northeast.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-06-2008 12:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Due to a technical issue related to installation of the aerodynamic tailcone, the ferry flight of the space shuttle Endeavour from Edwards Air Force Base back to the Kennedy Space Center has been postponed to no earlier than early Monday morning.

At present, takeoff would be no earlier than about 6:30 a.m. (PST) on Monday.

At issue was the size of three of the eight pins used to fasten the tailcone to the orbiter. Although technicians at Dryden Flight Research Center have been able to successfully resolve the problem, it has put the processing behind schedule.

Work that had been planned for Friday was postponed until today, including powering the hydraulics to retract the landing gear and positioning the body flap and engine nozzles. The installation of the tailcone is now scheduled to occur late Saturday night.

Lifting of Endeavour and mating it to the 747 carrier aircraft is now scheduled to occupy most of Sunday and Sunday evening. Managers are hopeful that all work will be completed and the 747-shuttle combo ready to ferry by about 1:00 a.m. PST.

The flight readiness review has been pushed off until mid-day Sunday, at which time mission managers will make final decisions on when the 747-shuttle will depart.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-07-2008 05:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A weather front over the southwestern states and expected inclement weather over the southeastern states on Tuesday have led space shuttle managers to postpone the first leg of shuttle Endeavour's ferry flight to no earlier than Tuesday morning, December 9.

The decision came at the conclusion of a flight readiness review on Sunday. Although there were no technical issues that forced the delay, the postponement will give shuttle turnaround processing crews additional time to complete preparations for the flight, including mounting Endeavour atop its carrier aircraft. At present, takeoff would be no earlier than about 6:15 a.m. PST Tuesday.

Overnight, technicians finished securing the body flap and engine nozzles, and positioned the aerodynamic tailcone in place. The tailcone was being secured Sunday morning, followed by powering up the hydraulic systems to retract the landing gear.

Lifting Endeavour and mating it to the modified Boeing 747 is expected to take up most of Sunday evening.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-08-2008 01:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Strong westerly winds sweeping over the high desert of Southern California Monday morning brought progress on lifting Endeavour and mounting it on the shuttle carrier aircraft to a virtual halt. Winds were running at sustained velocities of 25 to 30 knots, with gusts up to 35 knots, well above the limits for that operation.

Mission managers have decided to postpone Endeavour's ferry flight to no earlier than Wednesday morning, December 10, as a result.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2008 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Currently, takeoff is scheduled for about 7:00 a.m. PST on Wednesday from the main runway at Edwards on Runway 04 toward the northeast.

The main base area of Edwards Air Force Base will not be open to the public for viewing of the shuttle's ferry flight takeoff. However, the 747-shuttle combination may be visible after a Runway 04 takeoff just north of the base in the Boron and North Edwards areas, or in the areas just south or west of Edwards in case of a Runway 22 takeoff.

The east lakeshore viewing site off Mercury Boulevard on the east side of Rogers Dry Lake will also be open to the public, although it is some distance from the takeoff point.

The ferry flight takeoff should be telecast live on NASA Television when it occurs.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-10-2008 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour, atop NASA's shuttle carrier aircraft, lifted off from Edwards Air Force Base in California at 7:00 a.m. PST (9:00 a.m. CST).

The shuttle-carrier combo are expected at NASA's Kennedy Space Center as early as Thursday afternoon. The exact timing and route depend on weather conditions along the way.

The first leg of the trip will take Endeavour to Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-10-2008 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to FlightAware, space shuttle Endeavour landed at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas at 11:08 a.m. CST.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-10-2008 12:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour's ferry will continue this afternoon with a flight to the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, otherwise known as Carswell Field. The shuttle is expected to remain there overnight.

Endeavour is scheduled to depart El Paso at 1:10 p.m. CST.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-10-2008 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to FlightAware, space shuttle Endeavour departed Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso for Carswell Field in Fort Worth, Texas at 1:30 p.m. CST.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-10-2008 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour arrived at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas at 3:17 p.m. CST, where it will now spend the night before continuing its ferry to Florida.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-11-2008 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
According to FlightAware, space shuttle Endeavour will depart the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas for Barksdale Air Force Base in Haughton, Louisiana at 11:10 a.m. CST.

The shuttle-carrier combo will perform a flyover of Johnson Space Center in Houston on its way to Louisiana.

JSC Special: Space Shuttle Endeavour to Fly By Today

Special message from the Shuttle Program Manager:

On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer ...on ENDEAVOUR!

Even though it snowed last night, Santa hasn't changed his schedule... but the Space Shuttle Endeavour will fly by Johnson Space Center today, circling over JSC between 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. while mounted on a modified Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft. Although a stop at Ellington Field is NOT planned, the Endeavour will fly by and be visible from Ellington Field and the Sonny Carter Training Facility before passing over JSC.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-11-2008 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour is on its way to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, having left Carswell Field in Fort Worth, Texas at 11:07 a.m. CST.

The shuttle carrier aircraft will flyover Ellington Field and then NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston at around noon. It should do two passes at JSC before moving on.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-11-2008 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Endeavour will spend the night in Louisiana, having landed atop the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft at Barksdale Air Force Base at 1:14 p.m. CST.

On its way to Haughton, the orbiter-aircraft combo made several low-flying laps around NASA's Johnson Space Center.

See more photographs of the NASA JSC flyover as part of our mission viewing thread.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-12-2008 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Endeavour will depart Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana at 11:00 a.m. CST to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center at about 1:40 p.m. today.

Depending on the weather at arrival, the shuttle carrier aircraft could fly over Cocoa Beach during the return. The pilots will make that decision when they near the area.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-12-2008 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The final leg of space shuttle Endeavour's cross-country trek began as scheduled at 11:00 a.m. CST.

The flight will land at the Shuttle Landing Facility on runway 33, from the southern end of the runway.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-12-2008 02:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Endeavour, atop the modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), touched down at NASA's Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 1:44 p.m. CST on Friday.

The landing brought to an end Endeavour's cross-country trip 11 days after returning from space and nearly a month after launching from KSC on the STS-126 mission to the International Space Station.


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