Sunday, August 30, 2009

STS-128: Flight Day 3

Discovery is headed to dock with the International Space Station this evening. Docking should occur around 9:04 p.m. EDT.

Yesterday the astronauts conducted an inch-by-inch inspection of the most critical sections of the shuttle's heat shield Saturday, examining the nose cap and wing leading edge panels with a laser scanner on the end of a 50-foot-boom attached to the Discovery's robot arm. The scans were downlinked and then inspected by our group.

Rendezvous operations will begin in about two hours. The 360-degree backflip maneuver in expected at 8:02 p.m. EDT. This is when the ISS astronauts take high resolution photos and downlink them to us here at Johnson Space Center so we can inspect the entire heat shield! We want to make sure there are no major damages outside of our criteria that could be a threat during the intense heating during reentry.

Off to work I go!!!

P.S. Today's is Discovery's BIRTHDAY!!! :) The first flight of Discovery was on August 30th, 1984. 25 years ago!


Marcel-Jan said...

I have here, right beside me, a scrapbook that I made when I was 14 years old with newspaper articles of that launch. I decided to fish it out of the boxroom a while ago.

(Goodness knows how many times my father asked me to throw out "that junk", but I still got it :)

Who knew that the shuttles would fly more than 25 years back then?

vdiv said...

Indeed, the Shuttle is considered by some as a failure. Too expensive to operate, too complex, too long to prepare between flights, only reaches low Earth orbit, etc, etc. Yet the fact that Discovery is 25, Atlantis is almost 24 and Endeavour is 18 is a testament to how well these crafts were built, maintained, and used and the dedication of the people in this program.

Ajit said...

happy b'day Discovery!