Spaceflight Now


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.

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FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2009
0240 GMT (10:40 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
The Endeavour astronauts have signed off for the night. They spent a busy day inspecting the shuttle's heat shield and preparing for the upcoming mission at the space station. The voluminous inspection data has been downlinked to engineers on the ground for analysis to determine if any follow-up checks will be required during time set aside on Flight Day 5.

Late today, the crew extended the docking ring that connects to the shuttle's port on the space station. They also set up the centerline camera to be used in the final approach and tested various rendezvous tools to be used Friday.

Other work accomplished included prepping the spacewalking suits and staging equipment to be transferred during the station visit.

Wakeup time on Friday -- docking day -- is 7:03 a.m. EDT.

Post-launch photography of the shuttle Endeavour's external tank shows multiple areas of bare metal where thin strips of foam insulation peeled away during the climb to space, the result of an as-yet-unknown mechanism.

Read our full story.

2205 GMT (6:05 p.m. EDT)
The port wing sweeps by the inspection boom have been completed by the astronauts. They'll return the 50-foot-long structure back into its cradle in the payload bay as the work day winds down. Also upcoming on the to-do list is installation of the centerline camera in the Orbiter Docking System to help commander Mark Polansky during tomorrow's approach to the space station. And the docking ring will be extended in preparation for linkup with the station's Harmony module.
2020 GMT (4:20 p.m. EDT)
Post-launch checks of the reinforced carbon-carbon panels on the leading edge of Endeavour's port wing are underway.
1948 GMT (3:48 p.m. EDT)
The crew finished the orbiter nose checks, then took a pause for lunch.

The left wing inspections are next up in this multi-hour job to survey the shuttle to look for any signs of launch damage. The precautionary safety inspection has become a standard activity for all post-Columbia shuttle crews.

1900 GMT (3:00 p.m. EDT)
Photo galleries of yesterday's launch have been posted. One page shows the view from the Kennedy Space Center press site. Another is a collection images from pad cameras and the viewing site.
1835 GMT (2:35 p.m. EDT)
After completing the starboard wing survey, the crew is positioning the OBSS boom to get a closeup look on the shuttle's nose cap. The astronauts report they are ready to get started at this second part of the inspection sequence.
1815 GMT (2:15 p.m. EDT)
Inspections of space shuttle Endeavour starboard wing have been completed. The extensive imagery and laser data will be analyzed by specialists on the ground to determine if the spacecraft's heat shield suffered any serious damage during yesterday's launch.
1800 GMT (2:00 p.m. EDT)
Commander Mark Polansky, pilot Doug Hurley and flight engineer Julie Payette continue at work on the upper deck of Endeavour running the robotics for today's heat shield inspection.

Down on the lower deck of the spacecraft, the mission's spacewalkers are testing and readying the spacesuits to be worn during the upcoming excursions outside the International Space Station.

1627 GMT (12:27 p.m. EDT)
The robot arm grappled the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) and lifted it out of the payload bay. Inspections of space shuttle Endeavour will get underway with scans of the starboard wing.
1600 GMT (12:00 p.m. EDT)
Endeavour's astronauts are unberthing the 50-foot long instrumented boom that will be used to inspect the orbiter's thermal protection system today.

Earlier this morning, they crew completed a brief rendezvous rocket firing to keep them on course for tomorrow's docking with the space station.

1310 GMT (9:10 a.m. EDT)
The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. E) can be downloaded here.
1300 GMT (9:00 a.m. EDT)
The Endeavour astronauts, awakened just after 8 a.m. EDT, are working through a routine-but-busy day in orbit today, gearing up to inspect the shuttle's nose cap and wing leading edge panels to make sure no impact damage occurred during launch Wednesday. They also will check out the spacesuits needed for five space station assembly spacewalks and set up rendezvous tools for use during final approach to the lab complex Friday afternoon.

Read our morning story here.

1205 GMT (8:05 a.m. EDT)
Mission Control has awakened the astronauts with the song "These Are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs to begin Flight Day 2, the crew's first full day in orbit.

Today will be spent inspecting Endeavour's heat shield for any signs of launch damage, a routine task for shuttle crews. Other activities include checking out the spacesuits to be worn during the mission's spacewalks and preparing equipment for tomorrow's docking to the space station.

Read our earlier status center coverage.

STS-127 patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Endeavour's flight to finish building Japanese section of the space station.

Hubble crew
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.


Expedition 20
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 20 crew is now available from our stores.

STS-128 patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Discovery's flight to deliver equipment and research gear to the space station.