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The Mission




Orbiter: Endeavour
Mission: STS-126
Payload: ISS ULF2
Launch: Nov. 14, 2008
Time: 7:55 p.m. EST
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: Nov. 30 at 4:25 p.m. EST
Site: Edwards Air Force Base, California
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STS-126 Video Coverage

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The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard Endeavour's STS-126 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Chris Ferguson

PLT: Eric Boe

MS 1: Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper

MS 2: Stephen Bowen

MS 3: Don Pettit

MS 4: Shane Kimbrough

Up: Sandy Magnus

Down: Greg Chamitoff

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Video archive

STS-126: The programs

In advance of shuttle Endeavour's STS-126 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-126: The mission

A detailed preview of Endeavour's mission to deliver expanded crew accommodations to the station is provided in this briefing.

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STS-126: Spacewalks

Four spacewalks are planned during Endeavour's STS-126 mission to the station.

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STS-126: The Crew

The Endeavour astronauts, led by commander Chris Ferguson, meet the press in the traditional pre-flight news conference.

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Shuttle rollaround

Space shuttle Endeavour switched launch pads on Oct. 23, traveling from pad 39B to pad 39A.

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Two shuttles sighted

Stunning aerial views of shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour perched atop launch pads 39A and 39B on Sept. 20.

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Endeavour to the VAB

For its role as a rescue craft during the Hubble servicing mission and the scheduled November logistics run to the space station, Endeavour is moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

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Weather could divert shuttle landing to California desert
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: November 29, 2008

Entry Flight Director Bryan Lunney hopes the Florida weather will cooperate and permit the Endeavour astronauts to land Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center. But if predicted high crosswinds and thunderstorms develop, and if Monday's forecast promises little improvement, he'll divert the crew to Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert.

"For Sunday, we're going to have KSC and Edwards both called up," he said. "The purpose of that is, since the weather at KSC is not looking so good on Monday and it's not a program impact if we do end up landing over at Edwards, we would be willing to land on Sunday at Edwards if we look at the forecast and determine Monday is not worth waiting for.

"So we'll check the sites out tomorrow morning, I'm not going to commit to either one today, I'm not going to commit until probably as late as I can tomorrow before we decide where to go. Hopefully, KSC weather will be good enough and we can go land there, but if it is bad - and right now, looking at the forecast, we're worried about crosswinds, also we're worried about thunderstorm anvils blowing across and over the landing area - we'll look at Monday, we'll look at Edwards and decide then where to go. Both sites, KSC and Edwards, are fully called up and those folks will be ready to support as needed."

The forecast for Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center calls for scattered clouds at 3,000 and 9,000 feet and overcast at 25,000 feet. Winds will be out of 200 degrees at 16 knots with gusts to 23, producing crosswinds of about 18 knots. The forecast calls for a chance of thunderstorms within 30 nautical miles of the runway.

High crosswinds also are expected Monday, along with a possibly low ceiling. The forecast for Edwards calls for ideal conditions Sunday and Monday.

Endeavour has enough on-board supplies to stay in orbit for several days past Sunday, but only enough lithium hydroxide, the chemical used to remove carbon dioxide from the cabin's atmosphere, to last through Tuesday. Because NASA always tries to preserve the final landing day for unexpected problems with the shuttle, and at least one day for weather wave offs, Lunney has opted to bring Endeavour home Sunday, on one coast or the other depending on the weather.

Based on the forecast from the Spaceflight Meteorology Group at the Johnson Space Center, Sunday is "setting up to look pretty windy on the crosswinds and also the anvils, the big clouds that blow off the top of the thunderstorms," Lunney said. "We expect to see thunderstorms on the western side of Florida and those anvils will blow all the way across the peninsula and could affect us. We don't want to fly through those."

Shuttle commander Christopher Ferguson and his crewmates have four opportunities on successive orbits to return to Earth Sunday, the first two at Kennedy and the second two at Edwards. For the first Florida opportunity, the astronauts would close the shuttle's cargo bay doors around 9:30 a.m. and fire the ship's braking rockets at 12:14 p.m. for a landing on runway 15 at 1:19 p.m.

But once the payload bay doors are closed, the shuttle's radiators are stowed and cooling is provided by boiling water. Because a limited amount of water is available, Lunney said he would not use the fourth and final Edwards opportunity. Once the doors are closed, only three landing options are available: the two at Kennedy and the first of the two at Edwards.

Lunney said a final decision on whether to shoot for the first Florida opportunity might not be made until just before the deorbit rocket firing at 12:14 p.m. If the weather doesn't cooperate, the next opportunity would come with a rocket firing at 1:50 p.m. and a landing at Kennedy at 2:54 p.m. The first Edwards opportunity comes with a 3:20 p.m. EST rocket firing, setting up a landing in California at 4:25 p.m. EST

A detailed deorbit timeline for all the crew's Sunday landing opportunities is available here. Maps showing the ground tracks into the landing sites are posted here.

Earlier today, the astronauts checked out the shuttle's flight control system and test fired the ship's steering jets. They also launched a small Defense Department satellite to test solar cell technology.

"We completed the flight control system checkout and that system checked out really well, there were no anomalies," Lunney said. "In addition, we did the reaction control system hot fire. We tested all 38 primary RCS thrusters, all of them fired just fine and they're ready for entry as well."

Lunney said a full team of engineers and flight surgeons were standing by at both Kennedy and Edwards and that returning space station flight engineer Gregory Chamitoff, coming back to Earth after six months in space, will be well cared for either way.

"There's a crew of folks who travel out to Edwards, there's a crew of folks who work out there on a regular basis and between all those folks ... they are fully capable of supporting all the orbiter needs once we touch down," Lunney said. "Edwards is fully capable in terms of processing people, experiments, samples and the orbiter."

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 16 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: PICOSAT LAUNCHED FROM ENDEAVOUR PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LANDING MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: CNN, SAN FRANCISCO, PORTLAND INTERVIEWS WITH CREW PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LANDING TESTS OF SHUTTLE'S FLIGHT CONTROLS PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS STOW SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR'S ROBOT ARM PLAY
VIDEO: UNDOCKING REPLAY AS SEEN FROM PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S SUMMARY OF FLIGHT DAY 16 PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 15 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ORBITER WINGS AND NOSE CAP INSPECTED PLAY
VIDEO: VIEWS OF THE SHUTTLE DURING FLYAROUND PLAY
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR UNDOCKS FROM THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF UNDOCKING AN FLYAROUND PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 14 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FAREWELL CEREMONY BETWEEN THE TWO CREWS PLAY
VIDEO: STUNNING VIEW OF SOUTH AND CENTRAL FLORIDA PLAY
VIDEO: THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION IN MISSION CONTROL PLAY
VIDEO: THANKSGIVING DAY MESSAGE FROM SHUTTLE CREW PLAY
VIDEO: DON PETTIT TOASTS WITH HANDMADE CUPS PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 13 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: LEONARDO MODULE RETURNED TO ENDEAVOUR PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ANIMATION OF LEONARDO MODULE'S DETACHMENT PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 12 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MINNEAPOLIS, PORTLAND, PHILLY INTERVIEWS WITH CREW PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NEW EXTERNAL TV CAMERA MOUNTED TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: FINISHING THE STARBOARD SARJ CLEANING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE ON PORT SARJ PLAY
VIDEO: KIMBROUGH FLOATS OUT OF THE AIRLOCK PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEWS WITH CREW BY ABC, CBS AND NBC NEWS PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: LAST OF OLD BEARINGS REMOVED FROM SARJ PLAY
VIDEO: BOWEN INSTALLS ANOTHER BEARING ASSEMBLY PLAY
VIDEO: SARJ CLEANING TECHNIQUES TO REMOVE CONTAMINATION PLAY
VIDEO: PIPER USES GREASE GUNS ON THE SARJ PLAY
VIDEO: NEW TRUNDLE BEARING ASSEMBLY INSTALLED PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKING DUO GETS TO WORK PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALK NO. 3 BEGINS PLAY
VIDEO: WALKTHROUGH OF SPACEWALK NO. 3 PLAN PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: JOINT CREW IN-FLIGHT NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: PROTON ROCKET ROLLS OUT TO THE PAD PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH OF THE ZARYA CONTROL MODULE PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH COMMENTS BY NASA AND RSA PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION COMMANDERS MARK ANNIVERSARY PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: MAINTENANCE PERFORMED ON STATION'S ARM PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS PULL SECOND RAIL CART FREE PLAY
VIDEO: FIRST CART REMOVED FROM STATION RAILS PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: WALKTHROUGH OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 PLAN PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S SUMMARY OF FLIGHT DAY 7 PLAY

VIDEO: LAUNCH CAMERA REPLAYS
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: AP, MINNEAPOLIS AND BOSTON INTERVIEWS WITH CREW PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: RIDE ALONG WITH ASTRONAUTS "RACK-CAM" PLAY
VIDEO: COMBUSTION SCIENCE HARDWARE MOVED INTO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: AIRLOCK CAMCORDER FOOTAGE AFTER SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: EVA NO. 1 CONCLUDES PLAY
VIDEO: SOLAR ALPHA ROTARY JOINT REPAIRS BEGIN PLAY
VIDEO: TOOL BAG ACCIDENTALLY FLOATS AWAY PLAY
VIDEO: GREASE GUN SPILL MAKES MESS IN TOOL CARRIER PLAY
VIDEO: SPARE FLEX HOSE COUPLER DELIVERED TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: EMPTY NITROGEN TANK MOVED FROM STATION TO SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: SHOW-AND-TELL OF SOLAR ALPHA ROTARY JOINT WORK PLAY
VIDEO: WALKTHROUGH OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 PLAN PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF SPACEWALK SWAPOUT PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S SUMMARY OF FLIGHT DAY 5 PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW OPENS HATCH AND ENTERS LEONARDO PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTA AND BOSTON TV STATIONS INTERVIEW CREW PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: LEONARDO MODULE SUCCESSFULLY MOUNTED TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF LEONARDO MODULE ATTACHMENT PLAY
VIDEO: SUMMARY OF CARGO BEING DELIVERED TO SPACE STATION PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR DOCKS TO SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR PERFORMS THE 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: VIEWS OF THE SHUTTLE APPROACHING FROM BELOW PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S SUMMARY OF FLIGHT DAY 3 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: FLIGHT DIRECTOR'S SUMMARY OF FLIGHT DAY 2 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED TOUR OF ENDEAVOUR'S PAYLOAD BAY PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR BLASTS OFF! PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEFLIGHT NOW'S LAUNCH PAD CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-126 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: FINAL PRE-LAUNCH POLLS GIVE "GO" FOR LIFTOFF PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE'S CREW MODULE HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST DON PETTIT BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST SHANE KIMBROUGH BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: PILOT ERIC BOE BOARDS ENDEAVOUR PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER CHRIS FERGUSON BOARDS ENDEAVOUR PLAY
VIDEO: ASTROVAN TAKES CREW TO LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF ENDEAVOUR'S PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF PAYLOADS' PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY

VIDEO: PAD 39A SERVICE GANTRY RETRACTED FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: STATION ASTRONAUTS PREPARE FOR SHUTTLE ARRIVAL PLAY
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR'S PAYLOADS READIED FOR TREK TO SPACE PLAY

VIDEO: UPDATE ON SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAMS PLAY
VIDEO: STS-126 MISSION OVERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER CHRIS FERGUSON PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT ERIC BOE PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 HEIDEMARIE PIPER PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 STEPHEN BOWEN PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 DON PETITT PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 SHANE KIMBROUGH PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS5 SANDY MAGNUS PLAY

VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH SPACE STATION'S EXPEDITION 17 CREW PLAY

VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR COMMANDER AND PILOT PRACTICE LANDINGS PLAY

VIDEO: ISS PROGRAM MANAGER UPDATES SOYUZ INVESTIGATION PLAY
VIDEO: ISS PROGRAM MANAGER DESCRIBES SARJ REPAIR PLAN PLAY
VIDEO: ISS PROGRAM MANAGER DISCUSSES RADIATOR DAMAGE PLAY
VIDEO: EXPEDITION 18 PRE-FLIGHT MISSION BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: AERIAL VIEWS OF ATLANTIS AND ENDEAVOUR PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR AT SUNRISE ON LAUNCH PAD 39B PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: AERIAL VIEWS OF ENDEAVOUR AFTER ROLLOUT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR ROLLS FROM VAB TO LAUNCH PAD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ARRIVAL AT PAD 39B PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ENDEAVOUR LEAVING VAB PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR'S DEPARTURE FROM HANGAR PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ENDEAVOUR GOING VERTICAL PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF BEING HOISTED OFF TRANSPORTER PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ENDEAVOUR MOVING TO VAB PLAY
MORE: STS-126 VIDEO COVERAGE
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