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  STS-130/Endeavour: Adding a room with a view [Flight Day Journal] (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   STS-130/Endeavour: Adding a room with a view [Flight Day Journal]
Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

STS-130 / Endeavour: Adding a Room with a View

STS-130 will deliver and assemble the Tranquility Node 3 module and adjoining cupola panoramic robotic work station for the International Space Station (ISS), giving the orbiting laboratory a room with quite a view. The mission begins the final year of space shuttle flights, with only four more remaining planned through September.

George Zamka commands the mission, which marks the penultimate flight for the Endeavour orbiter, OV-105. Terry Virts will serve as pilot. The mission specialists for STS-130 are Stephen Robinson, Nick Patrick, Bob Behnken and Kay Hire.


Credit: collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman

Space shuttle Endeavour is seen on Pad 39A, February 6, 2010.

Do you have comments and/or questions about the STS-130 mission? Post to our mission viewing and commentary thread.

For prior status updates about STS-130 see Readying Endeavour for Tranquility.

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

NASA: "Go" for tanking

NASA's mission managers have given their "go" for technicians to begin fueling Endeavour for Sunday's launch of the STS-130 mission, scheduled for 4:39 a.m. EST.

Before starting though, a team was deployed to the pad to adjust an air regulator for Endeavour's crew cabin, which delayed the planned start of tanking by about 30 minutes.

Fueling began at 7:47 p.m., after "chilling down" the transfer line that pipe the super-cold propellants into Endeavour's external tank. It will take about three hours to load the tank with about 500,000 gallons of cryogenic liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants.

The STS-130 crew members were awakened at 5:45 p.m. They are scheduled to depart for Pad 39A and Endeavour at 12:59 a.m. EST.

The latest forecast predicts an 80% chance of favorable conditions at launch time, with the only concern being the possibility of low clouds.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

STS-130 Factoids

  • The solid rocket boosters launching Endeavour have been assembled from segments flown on 64 prior space shuttle missions. The oldest? STS-3. Most recent? STS-118.

  • Attending today's launch are several VIP guests, including former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin; David Hartman, former Good Morning America host; former astronaut and director of policy and plans at U.S. Strategic Command, Susan Helms; Evelyn Husband Thompson, widow of STS-107 commander Rick Husband; Danielle Roosa, wife of Christopher Roosa, son of Apollo 14 astronaut Stu Roosa; Johnny Holland, former linebacker for the Green Bay Packers; and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data, actor Brent Spiner.

  • STS-130 will be the 32nd shuttle mission to the International Space Station and the 24th flight for orbiter Endeavour.

  • One member of STS-130's crew is making his first flight to space, pilot Terry Virts. He will bring the total number of people who have flown on the space shuttle to 347.

  • This will be Endeavour's penultimate flight. The orbiter, designated OV-105, is scheduled to fly just one more mission, STS-134 in July 2010.

STS-130 mission patch. Credit: NASA

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

Endeavour fueled for flight

Shuttle Endeavour's external tank has now been filled with 526,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

Fueling reached "stable replenish" of both cryogenic propellants at 10:47 p.m. EST (LH2 reached "stable replenish" at 10:18 p.m.).

The three-hour tanking provides the fuel and oxidizer Endeavour's three main engines will require for its eight and a half minute journey to orbit, which is scheduled to begin with a liftoff at 4:39 a.m. EST.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

Weather worries worsen

The weather forecast has decreased from an 80 to 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions due to a low cloud deck moving into the area from northern Florida.

Meanwhile, STS-130 mission specialist Nick Patrick has shared via Twitter that he and his crew mates have finished their breakfast and are now being suited for launch.

Just had a good meal of steak and potato[es]! No more tweets before launch. Go Endeavour!

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

Astronauts embark to Endeavour

The crew of STS-130 left their quarters and departed for Pad 39A at 12:49 a.m. EST riding on the Astrovan, a modified Airstream trailer. They arrived at their ride to orbit, space shuttle Endeavour, a short 17-minute ride later.

Commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Kay Hire and Steve Robinson are boarding the orbiter and strapping into their seats on the flight deck.

The mission's two spacewalkers, Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick, will ride to space on Endeavour's middeck.

Once all the astronauts are onboard, the closeout crew will work to close Endeavour's hatch, pressurize the crew cabin, check for leaks, and then finish up their remaining work inside the White Room prior to leaving the pad.


Credit: collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

Weather continues to worsen

A low cloud ceiling moving from northern Florida into the vicinity of Pad 39A has resulted in NASA having to revise its forecast. There is now only a 30 percent chance of acceptable conditions for launch.

Currently, the Kennedy Space Center is "red" or "no go" as the cloud cover violates the criteria for launch.

Despite the weather, Endeavour's hatch has been closed and latched for flight. The countdown, for now, is proceeding as planned.

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

T-9 minutes and holding

Space shuttle Endeavour and its six-person crew are nearing the time for launch from Pad 39A on the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station.

The countdown entered the T-9 minute hold at 3:44 a.m. EST. This is the last built-in hold and is scheduled to last about 45 minutes.

The weather at this time is "green" or "go" at the launch site, but a low cloud ceiling remains a concern.

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Flight Day: Countdown

Low clouds scrub launch

Launch director Mike Leinbach gave Endeavour's crew the "no go" to begin their STS-130 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday, citing the low clouds over the Kennedy Space Center as violating launch criteria.

"We were just not comfortable with launching the space shuttle tonight, so we are going to go into a 24-hour scrub," Leinbach radioed the crew just nine minutes before their targeted liftoff time. "Thank you all for the effort you all put in tonight."

"You gave it a great try tonight. Sometimes you've got to just make the call," STS-130 commander George Zamka replied. "We understand and we'll give it another try tomorrow."

NASA is evaluating the weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday to decide which is better for the next attempt.

The soonest NASA can launch Endeavour is on Monday at 4:14 a.m. EST (0914 GMT). The current forecast calls for a 60 percent change of favorable conditions.

If Endeavour cannot launch by Tuesday, NASA is expected to delay the STS-130 mission's start until after the Atlas V launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Update: Managers have decided to try again for Endeavour's launch tomorrow, Monday, at 4:14 a.m. EST (0914 GMT).


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

Re-fueling underway

After being drained of its cryogenic liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen following Sunday's morning scrub, Endeavour's external tank is now being refilled with propellants for Monday's launch attempt, scheduled for 4:14 a.m. EST (0914 GMT).

Fueling began at 6:50 p.m. It will take about three hours to load the tank with about 500,000 gallons of the super-cold propellants.

The STS-130 crew members were awakened at 5:20 p.m. They are scheduled to depart for Pad 39A and Endeavour at 12:19 a.m. EST.

The latest forecast predicts an 60% chance of favorable conditions at launch time, with the only concern being the possibility of low clouds as had thwarted the first attempt.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

Tank topped

Shuttle Endeavour's external tank has again been filled with 526,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.

Fueling reached "stable replenish" of both cryogenic propellants at 9:54 p.m. EST.

At 9:49 p.m. EST, the countdown reached a built-in hold at the T-3 hour mark, and the hold will last for two and a half hours. Weather is currently "green" but there still remains a 40 percent chance of "no go" at the time of liftoff.

Robert Pearlman
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Flight Day: Countdown

Astronauts aboard

The STS-130 astronauts strode out of the Operations and Checkout (O&C) building, their crew quarters while at Kennedy Space Center, at 12:24 a.m. EST to board the Astrovan, NASA's modified Airstream trailer used to drive them to the launch pad.

George Zamka was first to climb onboard Endeavour. First-time flyer, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Kay Hire, Stephen Robinson, Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken followed their commander in to be strapped securely in their seats on the flight- and mid-decks.

The countdown remains on track for a 4:14 a.m. EST liftoff and the forecast still calls for a 60 percent favorable outlook for launch with no technical issues being reported.


Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Countdown

Shuttle sealed, crew ready to go

The White Room close-out crew has sealed Endeavour's hatch and pressurized the cabin, and are now finishing their remaining tasks before departing the pad.

Meanwhile inside Endeavour, the six STS-130 astronauts are running through their prelaunch tests and checks.

All systems are "go," with no technical issues being reported although cloud cover over the launch pad has changed the forecast from "go" to "no-go" at this time. Weather officers are cautiously optimistic that the clouds will move out of the area in time for Endeavour to launch at 4:14 a.m. EST.

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Flight Day: Countdown

T-9 minutes and counting

The launch director has given Endeavour's crew a "go" after a final "go-no go" poll to begin the STS-130 mission.

Weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center have improved and is "go" for launch and for an abort return to the Shuttle Landing Facility, if necessary.

The weather over Spain, one of the three Transoceanic Abort Landing (TAL) sites has also cleared and was given a "go" by the Spaceflight Meteorology Group at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

During the last few minutes remaining in the countdown, the access arm on the rotating service structure will swing away from the shuttle and the vent hood, called a beanie cap, covering the point of the external tank will be lifted up and away. A computer, called a ground launch sequencer, has taken over all the operations of Pad 39A and will be giving the commands that will launch Endeavour.

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Flight Day: One

Endeavour lights up the night one last time


Click to enlarge. Credit: collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman
Space shuttle Endeavour lifted off on the last planned night launch of the space shuttle program at 4:14 a.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 8 from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Flying its penultimate mission, Endeavour lofted the crew of STS-130 and the Tranquility Node 3 module towards their destination, the International Space Station (ISS).
"Thanks to the great team that got Tranquility, Cupola and Endeavour to this point," George Zamka, STS-130 commander, radioed shortly before liftoff. "And thanks also to the team that got us ready to bring Node 3 and Cupola to life. We'll see you in a couple of weeks."

Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: One

Early to rise ascent, early to bed

Shortly after reaching orbit, Endeavour's crew began the process of converting the shuttle from a launch vehicle to an orbiting spacecraft.

The payload bay doors were opened a little less than an hour and a half after launch.

Before beginning their first sleep period in space about 9:15 a.m. CST, the STS-130 crew members checked out Endeavour's robotic arm and surveyed the Tranquility Node 3 and its attached Cupola robotic station and viewport that will be installed on the station later this week.


Flight Day 1 Highlights. Credit: NASA TV

Browse NASA's STS-130 Flight Day 1 Photo Gallery

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Flight Day: Two

Inspections on tap for first full day in space

The STS-130 crew aboard space shuttle Endeavour are into their first full day in space and on their way to a rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station (ISS).

The astronauts were awakened at 5:14 p.m. CST Monday to the song "Give Me Your Eyes," played for pilot Terry Virts.

"And what a great song by Brandon Heath as I was looking out the window at the ocean going below and the beautiful Earth below," radioed Virts, who is the only first-time flyer on the crew.
One of Virts first tasks is to assist commander George Zamka with a firing of Endeavour's jets to refine their approach to the space station for Tuesday night's planned docking.


Credit: NASA TV

Mission specialists Kay Hire and Nick Patrick will be at the controls of the shuttle's robotic arm tonight to unberth the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) from the payload bay's starboard sill to begin the post-launch inspection of the orbiter's thermal protection system tiles and reinforced carbon carbon panels on Endeavour's nose and wing leading edges.

The inspection, commanded in shifts by Zamka, Virts, Hire, Patrick and mission specialist Steve Robinson, uses cameras and lasers at the end of the OBSS to provide 3D views of the orbiter. That data will be reviewed on the ground for any evidence of damage sustained during launch.

Later in the day, spacewalkers Patrick and Bob Behnken will conduct a checkout of the spacesuits they will wear during three spacewalks to complete installation of the Tranquility node and Cupola portal to the station. They will then install the centerline camera in Endeavour's Orbiter Docking System while Hire and Robinson check out the tools the crew will use during their rendezvous with the station.


Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Two

Endeavour examined, ready for docking

Endeavour's astronauts inspected their shuttle's heat shield, checked out spacesuits and prepared to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) during their first full work day in space.

Much of the day for STS-130 commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Kay Hire, Steve Robinson, Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken was devoted to inspecting the orbiter's thermal tiles and reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) surfaces on the wings' leading edges and the nose.

Zamka, Hire and Patrick used the shuttle's arm and its Orbital Boom Sensor System (OBSS) extension to survey the orbiter's right wing. Subsequently Virts and Robinson joined their commander for the nose cap survey. Hire replaced Zamka for the port wing survey.

Lead flight director Kwatsi Alibaruho gave an update on the data being returned by the crew's inspections during a press briefing held midway through the crew's day.

"The data that we've seen so far in the RCC inspections of the wings and nose cap, so far that data looks in family with the things we typically see," said Alibaruho. "Obviously, the engineers are going to be doing their analysis through the night to come up with some formal conclusions. But we haven't noticed anything that really pokes out at us as being a significant concern."
While the port wing survey continued, Patrick and Behnken checked out the spacesuits they will use during three spacewalks while at the station. They then prepared spacewalk equipment and supplies for transfer to the ISS.

Among the last activities of the crew's day was a checkout of rendezvous tools by Hire and Robinson and installation of a centerline camera by Patrick and Behnken, who then extended the shuttle's docking ring. The camera looks out through the center of the ring to help Zamka and other crew members guide Endeavour to the station's Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA-2) docking port. The ring is the first part of the shuttle to contact the station and helps to firmly attach them to one another.

Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the station a little after 11 p.m. CST Tuesday. The shuttle crew began its sleep period at 8:14 a.m. and will be awakened at 4:14 p.m. for docking day.

Browse NASA's STS-130 Flight Day 2 Photo Gallery

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Flight Day: Three

Docking day

The astronauts on Endeavour and the International Space Station are just hours from meeting in space as they work towards docking their vehicles.

The STS-130 crew woke up at 4:14 p.m. CST to "Katmandu" by Bob Seger, played for commander George Zamka, who'll be in control of Endeavour as it berths to the station's Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA-2) at 11:06 p.m.

Beginning early Tuesday evening, Zamka and pilot Terry Virts will fire Endeavour's orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines to refine their approach to the station, with mission specialists Kay Hire, Steve Robinson, Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken supporting them on the shuttle flight deck.

At 10:05 p.m., after Endeavour arrives 600 feet directly below the station, Zamka will command the shuttle to slowly rotate so that its underside is facing the station, where Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams and flight engineer Oleg Kotov will use cameras to photo-document the shuttle's heatshield. Their photographs will be sent to the ground to look for any damage.

After the rendezvous pitch maneuver, or "back flip," Zamka will move the orbiter directly in front of the station before slowly backing in to a docking. Once leak checks are completed, the hatches between the vehicles are scheduled to open at 1:04 a.m. on Wednesday beginning joint operations.


Credit: NASA

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Flight Day: Three

Protruding seal, OMS leak not a concern

In the process of inspecting Endeavour's exterior Monday, the crew discovered a protruding "flipper door seal" on the upper surface of the left wing over one of the orbiter's elevons.
"It looks like it is protruding a little bit, I think the guys said 3.8 inches protruding, and this is the part of the seal that if you look closely... it actually tucks down between the flipper door and the aft end of the wing structure itself," said LeRoy Cain, chairman of NASA's Mission Management Team.
According to Cain, this incolonel seal is used to control venting in the cavity that houses the actuators and the hinges that hold Endeavour's control surfaces on the back of the wing.
"This seal, protruding like this, is not going to pose any issue for us, neither structurally for the wing or from a thermal dynamic standpoint there's no issue for us to be concerned about," he explained.
Still, NASA is continuing study of the area in the unlikely situation that the seal should tear off during reentry.


Credit: NASA


Besides the seal, Cain said the other issue his team discussed was a small leak from the left orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engine.
"The left OMS engine accumulator is leaking. It is a very, very small leak. To give you an idea of the size of the leak, I think the team told me that we have about a month of margin with this leak size. This is actually a problem that we have flown with before on this vehicle and it is more of nuisance than anything else. If it was easy for us to fix on the ground, we would have done that by now," he said.
According to Cain, the only issue related to this leak is a resulting onboard alarm that flight controllers will work to suppress so as to not bother the astronauts.

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Flight Day: Three

Endeavour flips for space station

Separated by a distance of 600 feet and positioned directly below the International Space Station (ISS), space shuttle Endeavour executed a nine-minute rendezvous, or R-bar, pitch maneuver, beginning at 10:00 p.m. CST to provide ISS crew members Jeff Williams and Oleg Kotov the opportunity to photograph the orbiter's underbelly thermal tiles.


Credit: NASA TV

The photographs will be downlinked to Mission Control for evaluation by imagery experts and mission managers to determine whether the shuttle's heat shield sustained any damage during launch.


Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Three

Endeavour docks with the International Space Station

STS-130 commander George Zamka, assisted by his crew, docked space shuttle Endeavour with the International Space Station (ISS) at 11:06 p.m. CST while flying 215 statute miles over the Atlantic ocean to the west of Portugal.


Credit: NASA TV

Berthed at the Pressurized Mating Adapter-2, Endeavour's approach to the station proceeded smoothly despite a glitch with the Trajectory Control Sensor (TCS), the primary tool used for range and rate data by the astronauts. Instead a handheld laser was used for rendezvous radar data.

Full retraction of the orbiter docking ring took longer than expected as the crew waited for the relative motion between the two spacecraft to dampen out before securing the final set of latches.

Endeavour's docking at the International Space Station marked the first time that the combined mass of the two joined vehicles exceeded one million pounds.


Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Three

Shuttle and station hatches open

The hatches between Endeavour and the International Space Station were opened at 1:16 a.m. CST, marking the start of eight days of joint operations for the eleven STS-130 and Expedition 22 crew members.


Welcome sign as seen aboard the ISS. Credit: T. Gagnon
"We just want to take a moment to welcome the crew of STS-130 aboard the ISS," said station commander Jeff Williams as he was surrounded by both crews. "We're happy to see our friends. Some of us are really happy because we haven't seen many people other than the crew for a long time. And we're happy we're coming close to the completion of the assembly of station with this mission, so we're really happy to have you guys onboard."

"We are glad to be here," replied STS-130 commander George Zamka. "It was absolutely beautiful coming on up. As we were looking in the window, we couldn't believe how spectacular and shiny the space station was. After a while, I just quit looking at it because I just didn't want to think about docking with this big beautiful station. We're ready to bring up Tranquility and the Cupola and work with you guys to bring them to life. So this is a great day."


Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Three

Lending a hand, arm and boom

Following their arrival onboard and a safety briefing by the station's crew, the STS-130 astronauts set to work around the ISS.

Mission specialist Nick Patrick and ISS flight engineer T.J. Creamer took control of the station's robotic arm to remove the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) from Endeavour's payload bay. Shuttle pilot Terry Virts and mission specialist Kay Hire used the shuttle's arm to accept the handoff.


Credit: NASA TV

The arm-to-arm boom relay clears the way for Tranquility Node 3 to be removed from Endeavour's payload bay on Thursday.

Meanwhile, STS-130 commander George Zamka moved parts for the station's water recycling system from the orbiter's middeck to onboard the outpost so that Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams could use them later on Wednesday to replace and reactivate the assembly that processes urine into drinking water for station crews.

Concurrently, spacewalkers Bob Behnken and Patrick transferred the spacesuits they'll wear during the mission's three spacewalks into the station's Quest airlock.

Endeavour's astronauts began their sleep period at 7:14 a.m. and will awake at 3:14 p.m. CST on Wednesday to continue supply transfers, spacewalk preparations and Water Recovery System repairs.


Flight Day 3 Highlights. Credit: NASA TV

Browse NASA's STS-130 Flight Day 3 Photo Gallery

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Flight Day: Four

Time to get ready, time to recycle, time to relax

Spacewalk preparations and water recycling system repair highlight the work schedule for the first full day of joint docked operations by the astronauts on Endeavour and the International Space Station.

The STS-130 crew awoke at 3:19 p.m. CST to the song "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss, played for mission specialist Nick Patrick, who fondly remembers the music from the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

"It reminds me of a childhood spent dreaming of flying in space," radioed Patrick.
Patrick and his crewmates began the day by being notified by Mission Control that a focused inspection of their spacecraft's heatshield will not be required, though analysis continues on the ground concerning a small cracked tile and a protruding ceramic insert located near the shuttle's forward windows.
"Those are two areas we will take a closer look at from an analysis standpoint, we'll do some debris transport assessment and we'll talk some more about those two areas as we go through the mission," said LeRoy Cain, chairman of the mission management team. "Initially, it does not look like we are going to be very concerned about them, but we want to be very vigilant and take a closer look."


Credit: NASA

Patrick and fellow spacewalker Bob Behnken will spend the morning configuring the tools that they will take outside on the mission's first spacewalk Thursday evening.

STS-130 commander George Zamka and ISS flight engineer Soichi Noguchi will resize a spare spacesuit for Behnken after the failure of a power harness on his original suit. The harness provides power to the wireless video system and glove heaters.

Terry Virts, Kay Hire and Steve Robinson will continue moving new equipment and supplies from Endeavour onto the station.

Meanwhile, station commander Jeff Williams will begin installation of a new Distillation Assembly (DA) and Flow Control Pump Assembly (FCPA) in the station's Water Recovery System (WRS) as part of the plan to reactivate the equipment that processes urine into drinking water for station crews.

Flight engineers Max Suraev and Oleg Kotov will continue to pack items in a Progress supply ship while T.J. Creamer is scheduled to be monitoring several scientific payloads.

All 11 crew members are scheduled for some off duty time in the latter portion of their day before a spacewalk procedures review.

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Flight Day: Four

Camping out before going out

STS-130 spacewalkers Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken began their overnight campout in the International Space Station's Quest airlock a little before 7 a.m. CST on Thursday in preparation for today's first of three spacewalks during Endeavour's visit to the orbiting laboratory.

They are sleeping in the reduced 10.2 psi pressure of the airlock to avoid decompression sickness, or the bends.

Before going to bed, Patrick, Behnken and their shuttle crewmates wrapped up their workday with an hour-long review of spacewalk procedures beginning about 3:10 a.m. Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams and flight engineers Soichi Noguchi and T.J. Creamer also participated.

Earlier, just before 11 p.m., the six shuttle astronauts, Williams and Creamer talked with reporters from KXTV-TV in Sacramento, Calif., WKRG-TV in Mobile, Ala., and KMOX Radio in St. Louis. Robinson is from Sacramento, Hire from Mobile and Behnken from St. Louis.


Flight Day 4 Highlights. Credit: NASA TV

Browse NASA's STS-130 Flight Day 4 Photo Gallery

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Flight Day: Five

A "Beautiful Day" for a walk

Endeavour's crew began their fifth flight day at 3:14 p.m. CST to the song "Beautiful Day" by U2, played for mission specialist for Kay Hire.
"We're having a beautiful day up here, getting ready to install Node 3 and begin EVA number one," said Hire.
Together with her STS-130 crewmates, Hire's focus today will be on the flight's first spacewalk and robotics work to install the Tranquility node. The extravehicular activity (EVA) is expected to begin at around 8:09 p.m., although it could begin earlier if the astronauts are ready.

Spacewalkers Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken will prepare Tranquility for its removal from Endeavour's payload bay and then install avionics cabling once the new module is in place.

Hire and pilot Terry Virts will operate the station's robotic arm to install the new module.


TJ Creamer and Kay Hire at the station's robotics workstation. Credit: NASA

The spacewalkers also will remove a tool platform from the station's special purpose dexterous manipulator, or DEXTRE, while Tranquility is being maneuvered.

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Flight Day: Five

Grasping Tranquility

STS-130 pilot Terry Virts and mission specialist Kay Hire, using the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm, latched onto Tranquility at just after 7:50 p.m. CST, in preparation for unberthing Node 3 from Endeavour's payload bay and installing it on the station.

Virts and Hire have now paused their work, to wait for spacewalkers Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken to go outside and prepare Tranquility for its removal from the bay.


Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Five

First spacewalk begins

Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken began the first of three spacewalks for the STS-130 mission at 8:17 p.m. CST, marked by their spacesuits being switched to internal power. The two astronauts are scheduled to work outside the station for six and a half hours.
"It's a great day outdoors, nighttime right over Rio De Janeiro," said spacewalk coordinator Stephen Robinson from Endeavour's flight deck to Behnken and Patrick as they began their work.

Nick Patrick (left) and Bob Behnken. Credit: NASA TV

Their first order of business, once outside, will be to ready Tranquility Node 3 for installation on the Unity Node 1.

Behnken will begin by moving to Unity and opening a flap that will expose its centerline camera, which will be used to line up the two nodes during installation. He will then remove eight contamination covers from the port on Tranquility that will be docked to Unity.

While Behnken is doing that, Patrick will begin by installing an electric circuit on Tranquility's avionics panel and remove cables that have provided 'keep alive' power to the node while it has sat in the shuttle's payload bay.

Behnken, as lead for this mission's extravehicular activities, or EVAs, is wearing a spacesuit marked with solid red stripes. Patrick, making his first spacewalk, has donned an all-white suit.

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Flight Day: Five

Recharging before replacing

Having finished their work configuring Tranquility for its installation on Unity, spacewalkers Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick are headed back to the Quest airlock to retrieve equipment and, in Behnken's case, recharge his spacesuit's oxygen supply.


Benken and Patrick configure Tranquility. Credit: NASA TV

While working on Tranquility, Behnken was told by Mission Control to slow his pace, apparently in response to his higher rate of consuming oxygen, leading to the unplanned recharge.

As Behnken refills his suit in the airlock, Patrick will retrieve insulation and jumpers and stow them on the Destiny lab's exterior for use on a later spacewalk.

Once both are ready, Behnken and Patrick will come together at the special purpose dexterous manipulator, named Dextre, to remove its orbital replacement unit temporary platform, a storage platform that allows the robot to carry spare parts. They will retrieve two handles from storage and install them on Dextre and the platform, then work together to release the four fasteners connecting the platform to the multi-armed robot.

Behnken will carry the platform to a stowage bin on the left side of the station's truss, where it will be available for use as a backup to a new enhanced platform that will be installed on Dextre during the STS-132 mission.

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Flight Day: Five

Tranquility on the move

While spacewalkers Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken worked to remove a platform from the "Dextre" special purpose dexterous manipulator, mission specialist Kay Hire and pilot Terry Virts used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to lift Tranquility from Endeavour's payload bay and move it toward a docking with the Unity node.

First motion of Tranquility out of the bay was at 10:07 p.m. CST.


Credit: NASA TV

Since the two spacewalkers' remaining scheduled tasks all needed Tranquility to first be installed on Unity, and having worked about an hour ahead in their schedule, Behnken and Patrick were given the chance to briefly "hang out" before working on a couple of 'get-ahead' tasks, including retrieving equipment from the airlock and cleaning up a workstation.

Benken and Patrick remove a platform from Dextre. Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Five

Tranquility on Unity

Using the station's robotic arm, STS-130 mission specialist Kay Hire and pilot Terry Virts installed Tranquility Node 3 onto the port side of Unity Node 1.

Tranquility was secured to the station at 12:20 a.m. CST on Friday as spacewalkers Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick looked on from nearby.


Credit: NASA TV

With the new node in place, Behnken and Patrick began connecting it to the station's systems, attaching Tranquility's heater cables to Unity to provide a temporary power supply and joining eight avionics cables between the nodes.

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Flight Day: Five

First spacewalk ends

Having completed all their planned activities and several get-ahead tasks as well, spacewalkers Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick ended the first of three spacewalks for the STS-130 mission at 2:49 a.m. CST, six hours and 32 minutes after they began, with the pressurization of the Quest airlock.


Credit: NASA TV

With the support of their fellow Endeavour crewmates Kay Hire and Terry Virts controlling the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm, as well as Steve Robinson coordinating their spacewalk from the orbiter's flight deck, Behnken and Patrick began connecting the station's support systems to the newly installed Tranquility Node 3, an activity they will complete during the flight's second and third outings.

"I'm really glad for how successful it was, for getting this far and getting that power on Node 3. Let the activation of Node 3 begin!" exclaimed Behnken from inside the airlock.

"I wholeheartedly agree," replied Patrick.

"A noble start for the STS-130 EVA extravaganza!" said Robinson.

The two spacewalkers also removed and stowed a platform from the special purpose dexterous manipulator, which will be replaced during a future shuttle mission.

This was Behnken's fourth spacewalk, Patrick's first, and the 138th in support of space station assembly and maintenance.

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Flight Day: Five

Flowing power and water

As the first spacewalk of the STS-130 mission ended, Mission Control reported that all data and heater connections were working well, and that the vestibule separating the newly-installed Tranquility and its attach point on Unity had passed its initial leak check.

Inside the station, new distillation and fluids control pump assemblies began recycling their first batch of urine following ISS Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams' installation of the new parts on Wednesday.

Flight controllers are monitoring the operation of the water recovery system. The astronauts will return to Earth with processed samples of drinking water and urine to aid in troubleshooting the system.

The recycling equipment will be moved from the Destiny laboratory to Tranquility once controllers are satisfied with its performance.

The crew went to sleep at 7:14 a.m., and awaken at 3:14 p.m. CST.


Flight Day 5 Highlights. Credit: NASA TV

Browse NASA's STS-130 Flight Day 5 Photo Gallery

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Flight Day: Six

"Serenity" and Tranquility

The doors leading into the final U.S. components of the International Space Station are due to be opened tonight when the crews of space shuttle Endeavour and the station begin the internal outfitting of the Tranquility module and its Cupola.

The crew of space shuttle Endeavour awoke at 3:14 p.m. CST to the song "The Ballad of Serenity," as performed by Sonny Rhodes. The song, which was the theme to the TV series "Firefly," was played for spacewalker Bob Behnken.

"Both on Endeavour and the ISS, there is a little piece of Serenity for each of us who are fans of the 'Firefly' series," radioed "browncoat" Behnken.
While Terry Virts and Kay Hire 'walkoff' the station's robotic arm from its base on the Harmony node to the Destiny laboratory at 6:24 p.m., Steve Robinson and Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams will begin work outfitting the vestibule between the Tranquility and Unity nodes.


Credit: NASA TV

At the same time Behnken and Nicholas Patrick will prepare a new spacesuit for the latter to use during their second spacewalk together.

It was discovered that Patrick's suit had a temporary slight decrease in the speed of its cooling fan during their first outing. They will resize Behnken's original suit for Patrick and then complete maintenance on the extravehicular mobility unit power harness on that unit, which wasn't delivering power to the helmet camera and glove heaters when it was checked out before the first spacewalk.

Williams is expected to open Tranqility's hatch for the first time at 8:14 p.m., and then the hatch into the Cupola at 9:44 p.m. While internal outfitting proceeds, Virts and flight engineer Soichi Noguchi will move the components of the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) and the Air Revitalization System rack into the new node.

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Flight Day: Six

Entering Tranquility

STS-130 commander George Zamka and Expedition 22 commander Jeff Williams opened the hatch leading into the new Tranquility Node 3 aboard the International Space Station at 8:17 p.m. CST while they orbited 218 statute miles above the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia.
"Houston, Node 3 is open. It looks really nice in there and we're getting back to work," reported Endeavour's pilot Terry Virts to Mission Control.

"The module looks beautiful and the atmosphere is very clean," added Williams.


Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Six

Entering the Cupola, briefly

The hatch leading from Tranquility into the Cupola observation portal was opened at 10:32 p.m. CST, but only for a short time to complete a few procedures ahead of its relocation from the port to Earth-facing side of Node 3.

Credit: NASA TV

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Flight Day: Six

Tranquility and "tweets"

Crew members aboard space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station got a first look inside the orbiting outpost's newest module and room with a view Friday evening, but the shutters were still closed so the view will have to wait a while.

The astronauts who went into the module initially wore goggles and masks to protect against debris. STS-130 commander George Zamka and mission specialists Stephen Robinson and Kay Hire worked with station commander Jeff Williams to outfit the vestibule between Unity and Tranquility after an 8:17 p.m. CST hatch opening.

As that work continued, Endeavour pilot Terry Virts and station flight engineer Soichi Noguchi transferred parts of the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) and an Air Revitalization System rack into Tranquility.

The hatch between Tranquility and its adjoining Cupola was opened at 10:32 p.m. to prepare for its move from the port to Earth-facing side of the node. One of the procedures, installing a thermal cover to protect Tranquility's exposed end cone once the Cupola is removed, proved difficult. The crew could not latch the four bars that hold down the cover because part of the Cupola's structure was in the way.

"Therefore, we are looking at various options to see if we need the cover, how we're going to install it and if we have any clearance issues with the cover should we be berthing the cupola on the nadir side," lead station flight director Bob Dempsey explained during a briefing. "This is still being assessed at this time, we're not sure of the impact."
While work continued inside Tranquility, spacewalkers Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick configured their EVA tools and worked on another spacesuit for Patrick, to resolve a power supply issue. Then together with their STS-130 crewmates, they began an hour-long review for the mission's second outing before beginning an overnight campout in the Quest airlock at about 5:40 a.m.


Credit: NASA TV

Before then, Behnken and Patrick fielded questions from Twitter fans, radioed up from Mission Control by Mike "@Astro_Mike" Massimino. The questions were submitted by dozens of Massimino's million-plus following of "tweeps."

About three hours later, Virts and Hire took questions from Associated Press, CBS News and Reuters reporters.


Flight Day 6 Highlights. Credit: NASA TV

Browse NASA's STS-130 Flight Day 6 Photo Gallery

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Flight Day: Seven

Another day for "Too Much Stuff"

The STS-130 crew began their day at 3:14 p.m. CST to the song "Too Much Stuff" performed by Delbert McClinton and played for mission specialist Stephen Robinson.
"Now that's wake-up music. Delbert McClinton -- great music to wake up by," said an enthusiastic Robinson, who plays guitar in the all-astronaut band Max Q. "It's a great day to do an EVA and to transfer a whole bunch of stuff."
As he soon learned, Robinson and his fellow crewmates will have an additional day to do all their scheduled 'stuff,' in particular, moving the regenerative environmental control and life support system (ELCSS) racks into Tranquility.
"You've been officially extended for one day and this is to support the regen rack activations," Shannon Lucid informed Robinson from Mission Control.

"Hey, that is great news! There is cheering going on onboard," he replied. "Thanks for the extension."

The newly added day will be the crew's new Flight Day 11, beginning Wednesday, and will be used to relocate two Water Recovery System racks, the Waste Hygiene Compartment and the Oxygen Generation System into Tranquility. Those relocations were on hold pending the repairs made earlier in the flight, and enough run time on the system to generate needed samples for analysis. Endeavour's first landing opportunity will now be on Sunday, Feb. 21.


Credit: NASA TV

Today's focus is on configuring the new Tranquility module, inside and out, for its operation as part of the International Space Station.

Spacewalkers Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken will continue external outfitting of Tranquility by connecting coolant lines and remaining avionics cables, and installing covers as well as hardware to assist with future spacewalks, such as handrails and gap spanners.

Pilot Terry Virts, mission specialist Kay Hire, and Expedition 22 crew members Jeff Williams and Soichi Noguchi will continue their work configuring systems inside the node.

Today's scheduled depressurization and grapple of the Cupola has been deferred to later during the mission to allow more time for the crew and flight controllers to troubleshoot the blocked installation of a thermal cover.

Early Saturday morning the crew members outfitting Tranquility were unable to install a center disk cover on the module's outboard docking port due to interference from hardware inside the Cupola; that cover protects the docking interface from debris and temperature extremes when there is no module attached to it.

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Flight Day: Seven

Second spacewalk begins

Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken began their second of three STS-130 spacewalks at 8:20 p.m. CST taking their spacesuits to battery power. Tonight's extravehicular activity (EVA) has a planned duration of six and a half hours.
"A bright sunny day in the great outdoors," spacewalk coordinator Stephen Robinson radioed as the EVA got underway.
Behnken and Patrick will spend the first four hours of the spacewalk connecting the ammonia coolant loops on the new Tranquility node to those of the Destiny lab. There are two loops, with two lines apiece, each of which must be connected to both Tranquility and Destiny and routed through a bracket on Unity, connecting Tranquility to Destiny.


Credit: NASA TV

Once the lines are connected, Behnken will open one of the loops so that ammonia can flow to the node from the station's external thermal control system.

Behnken, as lead spacewalker, is wearing a spacesuit marked with solid red stripes. Patrick can be identified by his all-white suit.

Continued on page two...


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