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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-124
Payload: Kibo lab
Launch: May 31, 2008
Time: 5:02 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: June 14 @ approx. 11:15 a.m. EDT
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC

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The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard Discovery's STS-124 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Mark Kelly

PLT: Ken Ham

MS 1: Karen Nyberg

MS 2: Ron Garan

MS 3: Mike Fossum

MS 4: Akihiko Hoshide

Up: Greg Chamitoff

Down: Garrett Reisman

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Video archive

STS-124 day 1 highlights

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

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Discovery rolls out

Discovery travels from the Vehicle Assembly Building to pad 39A in preparation for the STS-124 mission.

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STS-124: The programs

In advance of shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-124: The mission

A detailed preview of Discovery's mission to deliver Japan's science laboratory Kibo to the station is provided in this briefing.

 Part 1 | Part 2

STS-124: Spacewalks

Three spacewalks are planned during Discovery's STS-124 assembly mission to the station.

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STS-124: The Crew

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

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More video



Spacewalker inspects station solar rotary joint
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: June 3, 2008

Astronaut Michael Fossum closely inspected a previously seen defect in a bearing surface on the drive gear of a space station solar array rotary joint and confirmed it is a depression and not an area where debris had accumulated. That would seem to imply that it represents an area of the hardened surface material of the bearing race that has broken down somehow or otherwise been damaged as opposed to something that could be scraped away or smoothed out.

"This is not what they were hoping to hear," Fossum said after rubbing a scraper and a gap tool over the pit. "This is definitely a depression."

"OK, how are you determining that?" astronaut Kenneth Ham asked from inside the shuttle Discovery.

"It's very, very thin, it's almost imperceptible with the scraper tool," Fossum said. "Using the gap gauge, you can feel it drop in, there's no catch on the edge as if you were running up against a bump or something. I came at it from multiple directions and I don't feel it catch. If it was a bump or something, you would catch on the edge and it would hesitate a moment. This does not. You feel it drop in."

"OK. That description sounds like it is what it is, then."

"It also catches on the outside edge as you're leaving the marred area and going back onto the undisturbed surface," Fossum reported.

"OK, that sounds like two positive indications for a depression," Ham replied."

Engineers have been struggling to figure out what has caused the drive gear bearing surface to degrade, producing large amounts of metallic shavings. Engineers theorize the surface layer suffered a crack or some other defect that got worse as the drive gear rolled through 12 bearings that hold it in place.

The SARJ is used to rotate outboard solar arrays to track the sun. The port SARJ works normally, but the right-side SARJ has been used only sparingly since the contamination and bearing surface degradation were discovered last year.

Looking over Fossum's shoulder, so to speak, via helmet-mounted television cameras, Ham observed that "it looks like, shoot, maybe 80 to 90 percent of the surface has been disturbed and eroded."

"Affirm," Fossum said. "Yep, along the outmost edge, it looks like it's eroded all the way to the boundary here."

Fossum then carried out a series of tests to find out whether he could remove contamination from a small area of the bearing surface using Braycote grease to trap the particles. He applied the grease with a scraper tool and then used the scraper to scrape it back off. He also tried wiping the particle-holding grease off with a towel and simply applying it with a wipe.

"OK, I guess I've done what I can do with a wipe," he said at one point. "It's very clean now, as far as the grease goes. The area does not look that different, there is a reduction in the little accumulations on the surface that we affectionately call pancakes, but the other surface as far as the more rigid things, I think the peninsula-type areas have been undisturbed by this process of scraping and wiping."

While Fossum was testing the debris removal techniques, crewmate Ronald Garan re-installed a bearing on the drive gear, re-installed insulation and configured a series of launch locks as required.

"Ron, you're making me look like a slacker," Fossum joked. "I'm sitting here doing one thing."

"You're doing the important thing," Garan said.

Earlier in the spacewalk, Fossum and Garan removed protective covers from the Japanese Kibo lab module, unplugged it from shuttle power and loosened window launch locks. While the spacewalkers moved onto the SARJ work, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, assisted by Karen Nyberg, carefully pulled Kibo from its perch in the shuttle Discovery's cargo bay at 4:37 p.m. By 6:15 p.m., the huge module was positioned within inches of its docking port on the left side of the station's Harmony module.

Once the berthing mechanisms are flush together, motorized bolts will drive in to lock the laboratory to Harmony. The astronauts plan to enter the new module Wednesday.

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: ANIMATION OF KIBO MODULE INSTALLATION PLAY
VIDEO: ANIMATION OF INSPECTION BOOM RETRIEVAL PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S REMARKABLE CAMCORDER FOOTAGE FROM MONDAY PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED INTO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY DOCKS TO SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE PERFORMS RENDEZVOUS BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S CAMCORDER FOOTAGE FROM FLIGHT DAY 2 PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK SEEN AFTER SEPARATION PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: FRONT CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-12 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 041 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 049 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 050 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 051 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 054 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 060 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 061 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 063 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 PLAY

VIDEO: LIFTOFF OF DISCOVERY WITH KIBO LAB! PLAY
VIDEO: ONBOARD CAMERA FOOTAGE OF TANK FOAM FALLING PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY

VIDEO: FINAL PRE-LAUNCH POLLS GIVE "GO" FOR LIFTOFF PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF KIBO LAB'S PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF DISCOVERY'S PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD GANTRY RETRACTED FRIDAY NIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ROLLBACK PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: BRIEFING ON KIBO LABORATORY FACILITY PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT THE CAPE FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S COUNTDOWN AND WEATHER BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE PLAY

VIDEO: NEWS BRIEFING FOLLOWING FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER MARK KELLY PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT KEN HAM PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 KAREN NYBERG PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 RON GARAN PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 MIKE FOSSUM PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 AKIHIKO HOSHIDE PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS PRACTICE EVACUATION OF SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW BOARDS DISCOVERY FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: TRAINING SESSIONS AT LAUNCH PAD AND BUNKER PLAY
VIDEO: CREW NEWS CONFERENCE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ENCLOSING DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: PAD'S ORBITER ACCESS ARM SWUNG INTO POSITION PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF CRAWLER RETREATING AFTER ROLLOUT PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY ROLLED TO PAD 39A PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: STS-124 MISSION OVERVIEW PART 1 | PART 2
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: KIBO LABORATORY TRAVELS TO THE LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: TRANSPORT CANISTER WITH KIBO ROTATED UPRIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: CRANE PLACES KIBO MODULE INTO TRANSPORT CANISTER PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO FUEL TANK PLAY
VIDEO: THE SHUTTLE MOVES TO THE VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY
MORE: STS-124 VIDEO COVERAGE
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