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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-120
Payload: Harmony module
Launch: Oct. 23, 2007
Time: 11:38 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: Nov. 7 @ 1:01 p.m. EST
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC

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The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard Discovery's STS-120 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Pam Melroy

PLT: George Zamka

MS 1: Scott Parazynski

MS 2: Stephanie Wilson

MS 3: Doug Wheelock

MS 4: Paolo Nespoli

Up: Dan Tani

Down: Clay Anderson

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Video archive

STS-120 day 6 highlights

Spacewalk to detach Port 6 truss and discovery of debris in a solar array rotary joint are highlighted in the Flight Day 6 movie.

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STS-120 day 5 highlights

Highlights from Flight Day 5 see the astronauts enter into the newly-installed Harmony module.

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STS-120 day 4 highlights

The Flight Day 4 highlights movie shows Harmony's attachment to the station and the Discovery mission's first spacewalk.

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STS-120 day 3 highlights

This movie shows the highlights from Flight Day 3 as Discovery docked to the space station.

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STS-120 day 2 highlights

Flight Day 2 of Discovery's mission focused on heat shield inspections. This movie shows the day's highlights.

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STS-120 launch videos

Check out all angles of space shuttle Discovery's launch with our extensive video collection.

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STS-120 day 1 highlights

The highlights from shuttle Discovery's launch day are packaged into this movie.

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STS-120: Crew arrival

The space shuttle Discovery astronauts arrive at the Kennedy Space Center for their countdown to launch.

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STS-120: The programs

In advance of shuttle Discovery's STS-120 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-120: The mission

Discovery's trip to the station will install the Harmony module and move the P6 solar wing truss. The flight directors present a detailed overview of STS-120.

 Part 1 | Part 2

STS-120: Spacewalks

Five spacewalks are planned during Discovery's STS-120 assembly mission to the station. Lead spacewalk officer Dina Contella previews the EVAs.

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 EVA 1 summary
 EVA 2 summary
 EVA 3 summary
 EVA 4 summary
 EVA 5 summary

The Discovery crew

The Discovery astronauts, led by commander Pam Melroy, meet the press in the traditional pre-flight news conference.

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NASA officially extends Discovery mission a day
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: October 29, 2007

As expected, NASA's Mission Management Team today agreed with a recommendation from space station officials to extend the shuttle Discovery's flight one day to permit a more thorough inspection of a contaminated solar array rotary joint during a spacewalk Thursday.

The original content of that excursion - a heat shield repair demonstration - will be deferred to a future mission and a fifth and final spacewalk, originally planned for Friday, will slip one day to Saturday. In the meantime, the astronauts are pressing ahead with plans to stage a spacewalk early Tuesday - EVA No. 3 - to re-attach and deploy the P6 solar array truss segment.

Under the revised schedule, Discovery would undock from the space station early Nov. 5 for a landing back at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The latest projections show a deorbit rocket firing at 4:09 a.m. EST on Nov. 7 with landing expected around 5:11 a.m.

Below is our original story published this afternoon before the mission extension was decided:



Space station managers today recommended extending the shuttle Discovery's mission by one day to permit a dedicated spacewalk devoted to inspecting an apparently contaminated solar array rotary joint. NASA managers want to track down the source of metallic shavings found inside the joint during a brief inspection Sunday to help figure out what might be needed to fix it.

"We have a lot of ideas. My personal opinion is we're probably still dealing with something that's rubbing that's not supposed to," said Mike Suffredini, space station program manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "I don't think we're in any situation we can't recover from, it's just a matter of time."

The Discovery astronauts have conducted two of five planned spacewalks, helping install a new multi-hatch module Friday and detaching a 35,000-pound solar array truss segment during an excursion Sunday so it can be mounted on the far left end of the station's main power truss Tuesday.

The port-6, or P6 segment was "parked" overnight on the end of the station's robot arm. Early today, arm operators Dan Tani and Clay Anderson "handed" the massive segment to the shuttle's robot arm, operated by Stephanie Wilson and pilot George Zamka.

While the shuttle arm held onto P6, the station arm, mounted atop a tram on the front of the lab's main solar power beam, was moved about 80 feet to a work site on the far left end. From there, the arm re-grappled P6 and the shuttle arm let go, completing the second handoff of the day.

Early Tuesday, astronauts Scott Parazynski and Doug Wheelock plan to stage a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk - EVA-3 - to attach P6 to the far left end of the power truss and to monitor the re-deployment of its huge solar wings. After releasing a stowed radiator panel, Parazynski now plans to remove one of 22 insulation blankets from the left-side solar alpha rotary joint, or SARJ. The idea is to look for any signs of contamination like the metallic shavings discovered by Tani during an inspection of the right-side SARJ on Sunday.

The massive SARJ joints, one on each side, use a motor-driven 10-foot-wide gear to slowly turn the outboard solar arrays to keep them face on to the sun and ensure maximum power generation. The inspection of the starboard SARJ Sunday was ordered after engineers noticed higher-than-expected vibration levels and power over the past two months or so.

Tani used adhesive tape to collect samples of the contamination and station commander Peggy Whitson used a magnet today to show the material is metallic and not made up of mylar insulation as engineers speculated Sunday.

"The significance of it being ferrous is an indication that it's not aluminized mylar and it's not from the (thermal) covers," Suffredini said. "The covers are aluminum, the aluminized mylar obviously has aluminum in it as well. So that would tell you perhaps it's some of the steel from the bearings or the race or some other area."

To gather additional data, flight controllers decided overnight to have Parazynski carry out a brief inspection of the left-side SARJ during the spacewalk Tuesday. The port SARJ is operating normally and engineers want to get a better idea of how it might differ from the starboard SARJ.

"What we thought we'd do is go look on the (port) side and see what it looks like," Suffredini said today. "And that will give us some indication of what is nominal. You can glean a lot of information from this. It won't necessarily tell you what's good and what's not, but it certainly will tell you more about what the design produces as opposed to (what) we're dealing with on the starboard side."

The shuttle flight plan originally called for a fourth spacewalk Thursday to test a new heat shield repair technique and a final excursion Friday, this one by Whitson and flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko, to continue outfitting the newly installed Harmony module. Staging the spacewalks back to back out of the station's Quest airlock module limited the duration of the tile repair exercise to provide enough turnaround time for Whitson and Malenchenko.

Suffredini said the station project wanted to turn the fourth spacewalk into a dedicated full-duration inspection of the starboard SARJ. That plan would require extending Discovery's mission one day to give Whitson and Malenchenko enough time to prepare for their spacewalk.

"Right now, the team is leaning toward inspecting under every (thermal) panel during EVA-4," Suffredini said. "The plan right now, assuming our shuttle friends agree at the MMT (is) to do a full length EVA-4. That requires us to have a day off between EVAs 4 and 5 so don't be surprised at the end of the MMT today if we formally announce that we'll extend the flight one additional day in order to allow EVA-4 to be its full length."

Suffredini said engineers debated whether the astronauts could carry out an abbreviated tile repair demonstration, but "we are going to recommend that we use the entire full-length EVA to do this inspection. We need the entire EVA to remove every cover and inspect under each cover. We also plan to take samples in any areas where the data might look different."

Until the issue is resolved, the starboard SARJ will remain locked in one position except on the few occasions when it needs to be reoriented due to thruster firings or other operations. With only the port arrays rotating to track the sun, the station's power production will suffer. But Suffredini said today a new analysis shows that if the P6 arrays are redeployed as planned, the lab complex will have enough power to operate normally through the end of the year and into early 2008 and that it should not affect plans to launch Europe's Columbus research module in early December.

But both SARJs eventually must be operational to support a full slate of science operations inside Columbus, the U.S. Destiny lab module and two pressurized Japanese labs scheduled for delivery in February and April.

In a worst-case scenario, Suffredini said, spacewalkers could reposition two drive motors and 12 trundle bearings to use an inboard drive gear in the starboard joint. Assuming the astronauts could clean up the contamination to prevent additional wear and tear, the SARJ would be in a near-new state. But the work is complicated, it would require multiple spacewalks and it would disrupt station assembly.

Engineers are hopeful the inspection of the port SARJ by Parazynski on Tuesday, and a more thorough look at the starboard SARJ later in the week, will give them the insight they need to determine the best course of action.

As of this writing, NASA managers have not yet finalized plans for the fourth and fifth spacewalks or officially approved the mission extension. In the meantime, here is an updated timeline of Tuesday's spacewalk - EVA-3 - including Parazynski's inspection of the left-side SARJ (in EDT and mission elapsed time).


EDT........DD...HH...MM...EVENT

12:38 AM...06...13...00...STS/ISS crew wakeup
01:13 AM...06...13...35...EVA-3: Airlock repressurized to 14.7 psi; hygiene break
02:23 AM...06...14...45...EVA-3; Spacewalk preps
03:53 AM...06...16...15...EVA-3: Spacesuit purge
04:08 AM...06...16...30...EVA-3: Spacesuit oxygen pre-breathe
05:08 AM...06...17...30...EVA-3: Airlock depressurization
05:33 AM...06...17...55...EVA-3: Airlock egress
06:03 AM...06...18...25...EVA-3: Parazynski: Attach P6 to P5
06:18 AM...06...18...40...EVA-3: Wheelock: Attach P6 to P5
08:13 AM...06...20...35...Shuttle robot arm (SSRMS): P6 ungrapple
08:13 AM...06...20...35...EVA-3: Parazynski: P5/P6 umbilical connections
08:48 AM...06...21...10...EVA-3: Wheelock: P5/P6 umbilical connections
08:53 AM...06...21...15...EVA-3: Parazynski: Electronic box shroud removal
09:03 AM...06...21...25...EVA-3: Wheelock: Shroud removal
09:28 AM...06...21...50...EVA-3: Parazynski: Radiator cinch release
10:03 AM...06...22...25...EVA-3: Wheelock: Spare power switching unit transfer to ISS
10:28 AM...06...22...50...EVA-3: Parazynski: Port SARJ inspection
11:08 AM...06...23...30...EVA-3: Parazynski: Radiator squib firing unit activation
11:18 AM...06...23...40...EVA-3: Parazynski: Switching unit transfer
11:58 AM...07...00...20...P6 solar mast 1 deploy operations begin
12:03 PM...07...00...25...EVA-3: Parazynski: Airlock ingress
12:18 PM...07...00...40...EVA-3: Wheelock: Airlock ingress
12:38 PM...07...01...00...EVA-3: Airlock repressurization
12:38 PM...07...01...00...2B array 100 percent deployed
01:28 PM...07...01...50...4B array 100 percent deployed
01:48 PM...07...02...10...Shuttle robot arm (SRMS) powerdown
04:08 PM...07...04...30...ISS crew sleep begins
04:38 PM...07...05...00...STS crew sleep begins

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VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: POST-SPACEWALK MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM GRAPPLE BASE INSTALLED ON HARMONY PLAY
VIDEO: STATION CABLING FOR P6 TRUSS CONFIGURED PLAY
VIDEO: TANI COLLECTS SAMPLES OF DEBRIS IN ROTARY JOINT PLAY
VIDEO: TANI DISCOVERS UNKNOWN DEBRIS INSIDE ROTARY JOINT PLAY
VIDEO: THE PORT 6 TRUSS DETACHED FROM THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS UNBOLT THE PORT 6 TRUSS PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF PORT 6 REMOVAL PLAY
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VIDEO: BRIEFING ON LAUNCH IMAGERY AND TANK'S PERFORMANCE PLAY
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VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 WIDESCREEN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA WIDESCREEN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 041 PLAY
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VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 050 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 051 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 054 PLAY
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VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 061 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 063 PLAY
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VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA UCS-12 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA UCS-15 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY

VIDEO: THE CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR THE PAD PLAY
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VIDEO: A LOOK BACK AT SHUTTLE DISCOVERY'S HISTORY PLAY
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