BY JUSTIN RAY
Follow space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission to finish assembly of the International Space Station's Japanese segment. Reload this page for the latest updates.
Sign up to our Twitter feed and get text message updates on your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting "follow spaceflightnow" to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)
TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2009The shuttle is quickly departing the vicinity of the space station following separation burn No. 2. This was a 42-second burn resulting in a 10 feet per second change in velocity.
1909 GMT (3:09 p.m. EDT)
The astronauts will wrap up their day and go to sleep at 7:03 p.m. EDT this evening. Tomorrow will be spent using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System to inspect the shuttle's wing leading edge panels and nose cap to look for any space debris or micrometeoroid damage that could have occurred during the mission. Standard day-before-landing tests of Endeavour's flight controls and thrusters, along with packing up the cabin for entry will fill the crew's Thursday in orbit.
Landing at the Kennedy Space Center to conclude this 16-day spaceflight is scheduled for 10:48 a.m. EDT on Friday.
The early weather forecast for Friday at the Kennedy Space Center has concerns about showers and thunderstorms around the landing site that would prohibit the shuttle's return.
The outlook also includes a few clouds at 3,000 feet, scattered clouds at 8,000 feet and a broken deck at 25,000 feet, seven miles of visibility, a south-southeasterly wind from 160 degrees of 5 peaking to 8 knots.
Saturday's forecast again predicts the chance for rain or storms, a few clouds at 3,000 feet and a broken deck of clouds at 25,000 feet, seven miles of visibility and a southeasterly wind from 120 degrees of 7 peaking to 11 knots.
The backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base in California looks favorable both Friday and Saturday.
Here's an updated look at the landing times for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at KSC and Edwards: (all times EDT)
ORBIT...SITE....DEORBIT.......LANDING Friday, July 31 248.....KSC...09:45 AM.......10:48 AM 249.....KSC...11:20 AM.......12:23 PM Saturday, Aug. 1 264.....KSC...10:05 AM.......11:08 AM 265.....KSC...11:41 AM.......12:43 PM 266.....EDW...01:10 PM.......02:12 PM 267.....EDW...02:46 PM.......03:48 PM Sunday, Aug. 2 279.....KSC...08:50 AM.......09:53 AM 280.....KSC...10:25 AM.......11:27 AM 281.....EDW...11:55 AM.......12:58 PM 282.....EDW...01:30 PM.......02:32 PM 283.....EDW...03:07 PM.......04:08 PM
1856 GMT (2:56 p.m. EDT)Some 2,500 feet separate the two spacecraft. The next thruster firing by Endeavour to further accelerate the departure rate is coming up shortly.
1851 GMT (2:51 p.m. EDT)Endeavour is climbing high above and behind the station, now about 1,500 feet away.
1841 GMT (2:41 p.m. EDT)The shuttle just performed the first of two separation engine firings. This six-second burn changed Endeavour's speed by about 1.5 feet per second.
1840 GMT (2:40 p.m. EDT)Endeavour is back out in front of the International Space Station to complete its full victory lap.
1828 GMT (2:28 p.m. EDT)The shuttle is 614 feet beneath the station now, continuing its circle around the complex as the two spacecraft fly 221 miles above the North Atlantic.
1817 GMT (2:17 p.m. EDT)Endeavour is nearing a point directly behind the station in terms of the direction of travel of the two spacecraft around the Earth, which is known as the -V bar.
1815 GMT (2:15 p.m. EDT)The spacecraft are 217 miles over the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A few moments ago, commander Mark Polansky called a tally-ho on Houston.
1810 GMT (2:10 p.m. EDT)The shuttle has passed out of range for live television transmissions. Endeavour is about 615 feet above and behind the station now.
1806 GMT (2:06 p.m. EDT)Endeavour is reaching a point about 600 feet directly above the space station.
The flyaround started with the shuttle in front of the station. It takes Endeavour to a point directly above the complex, then behind it, looping below and back out in front. After climbing above the station for a second time, the final separation engine firing will be performed. This burn will send Endeavour away from the vicinity of the station.
1800 GMT (2:00 p.m. EDT)Stunning live television is being received from a camera in Endeavour's payload bay. The shuttle is casting a shadow on the giant solar wings and the new science deck added to the Japanese Kibo laboratory during this mission are among the wonders seen in this footage.
1754 GMT (1:54 p.m. EDT)Pilot Doug Hurley has begun flying Endeavour in a one-lap flyaround of the station.
1751 GMT (1:51 p.m. EDT)Nearing the 400-foot mark.
1745 GMT (1:45 p.m. EDT)Now 250 feet of separation between the shuttle and station as Endeavour moves away at 0.24 feet per second.
1742 GMT (1:42 p.m. EDT)Two hundred feet.
1739 GMT (1:39 p.m. EDT)Endeavour is 150 feet from the station, continuing to back away at 0.2 feet per second.
1735 GMT (1:35 p.m. EDT)The shuttle is headed to a point about 400 feet away where it will fire thrusters to begin an arc above the station for today's flyaround in about 20 minutes.
1733 GMT (1:33 p.m. EDT)Now 65 feet of separation with Endeavour moving away at 0.2 feet per second.
1729 GMT (1:29 p.m. EDT)Endeavour is 25 feet from the station as it slowly backs away.
1726 GMT (1:26 p.m. EDT)The undocking occurred on time as the two spacecraft flew 218 miles over the Indian Ocean.
1726 GMT (1:26 p.m. EDT)UNDOCKING! Shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station are parting company after 10 days, 23 hours and 39 minutes of being linked together high above Earth. The shuttle's construction visit installed an external science deck to complete Japan's Kibo laboratory facilities, pre-staged critical spare parts for the outpost and replaced aging batteries in the power grid.
Endeavour is due home at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday morning, weather permitting.
1721 GMT (1:21 p.m. EDT)Five minutes from undocking. The steering jets on Endeavour are inhibited for the period of physical undocking from the station. The separation occurs when large springs push the two craft apart. Once the shuttle is a couple feet away from the station and the docking devices are clear of one another, pilot Doug Hurley will fire Endeavour's thrusters to continue the movement away.
1716 GMT (1:16 p.m. EDT)The formal "go" for undocking has been given to the Endeavour crew.
1711 GMT (1:11 p.m. EDT)The spacecraft are passing into an orbital sunset. The undocking will occur in darkness but the later flyaround of the station by Endeavour will take place in daylight.
1703 GMT (1:03 p.m. EDT)Both the shuttle and station flight control teams report all systems are ready for the undocking at 1:26 p.m. Endeavour's guidance system was aligned this morning, the entire shuttle/station complex was reoriented to the proper attitude for undocking and the station's giant solar arrays have been positioned to protect them from shuttle thruster plumes.
1659 GMT (12:59 p.m. EDT)The docking mechanism in Endeavour's payload bay is being powered up.
1642 GMT (12:42 p.m. EDT)The Endeavour-station complex has reached the proper orientation for undocking, which is just over 30 minutes away.
1630 GMT (12:30 p.m. EDT)Throughout the time Endeavour has been docked to the space station, the combined stack flew in an orientation with the Russian segment leading the way. This was meant to keep Endeavour's heat shield out of the direction of travel. But as undocking approaches, the stack is being turn 180 degrees to enable Endeavour to separate and fly out in front of the station, reversing its path to docking 11 days ago.
1620 GMT (12:20 p.m. EDT)Read our story on today's farewell ceremony between the two crews.
1510 GMT (11:10 a.m. EDT)The astronauts this morning finished transferring experiment samples and items from the station into Endeavour for shuttling back to Earth. After a brief farewell ceremony in the Harmony connecting module, the seven Endeavour crew members said goodbye to the Expedition 20 resident crew and floated into the shuttle. The hatchway between the two craft was officially closed at 11:08 a.m. EDT.
1215 GMT (8:15 a.m. EDT)The Endeavour astronauts prepared the shuttle for undocking from the International Space Station Tuesday after five spacewalks to attach a new experiment platform, replace aging solar array batteries and to attach spare parts to the lab's main truss.
Read our full story.
0720 GMT (3:20 a.m. EDT)The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. O) can be downloaded here.
0703 GMT (3:03 a.m. EDT)It's wakeup time for the astronauts to start Flight Day 14. Space shuttle Endeavour will finish its stay at the International Space Station and undock around 1:26 p.m. EDT today, setting the stage for Friday's landing at the Kennedy Space Center.
Here's a preliminary look at the landing times for Friday and Saturday at KSC and the alternate site at Edwards Air Force Base, California: (all times EDT)
ORBIT...SITE....DEORBIT.......LANDING Friday, July 31 248.....KSC....09:45 AM.......10:47 AM 249.....KSC....11:20 AM.......12:22 PM Saturday, Aug. 1 264.....KSC....10:05 AM.......11:06 AM 265.....KSC....11:40 AM.......12:42 PM 266.....EDW....01:10 PM.......02:11 PM 267.....EDW....02:45 PM.......03:47 PM
Read our earlier status center coverage.
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Endeavour's flight to finish building Japanese section of the space station.
The official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase.
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 20 crew is now available from our stores.
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Discovery's flight to deliver equipment and research gear to the space station.