BY JUSTIN RAY
Follow space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station. Reload this page for the latest updates.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2009Closing out a successful resupply mission, two Discovery astronauts, operating the International Space Station's robot arm, detached a cargo module from the lab complex late Monday and returned it to the shuttle's cargo bay for the trip back to Earth Thursday.
0335 GMT (11:35 p.m. EDT Mon.)
One orbit later, the seven shuttle fliers bid farewell to the station's six-person crew and floated back into Discovery for the last time, setting the stage for undocking Tuesday afternoon.
Read our full story.
0230 GMT (10:30 p.m. EDT Mon.)The shuttle and station crews are gathering in the Harmony module for a farewell ceremony. The Discovery astronauts will be heading back to the orbiter and closing the hatchway in preparation for tomorrow's undocking.
The flight plan calls for the shuttlte crew to spend the night on their own spacecraft with the hatches already shut so that when wakeup occurs tomorrow they can get right into the departure activities. It will be a busy day, not only with undocking but also a final round of heat shield inspections tomorrow night.
0117 GMT (9:17 p.m. EDT Mon.)Leonardo is back in the payload bay and latched in place for the journey home to Kennedy Space Center later this week.
The Italian-made reusable module, making its sixth trip to the space station, delivered fluid and materials science experiment racks, a laboratory freezer to store samples, another sleep compartment for the station's larger resident crews, a new air purification system, the treadmill named for comedian Stephen Colbert and extensive amount of supplies and logistics
After Leonardo was emptied, stuff needing a ride back to the ground and no-longer-used equipment were stowed into the module.
0045 GMT (8:45 p.m. EDT Mon.)Leonardo is being lined up for final insertion into the bay.
0017 GMT (8:17 p.m. EDT Mon.)Anchored on the end of the space station's robotic arm, the Leonardo module is undergoing a quarter roll to the proper orientation for entering the payload bay.
0001 GMT (8:01 p.m. EDT Mon.)After seven days being attached to the International Space Station for the unloading its 13,898 pounds of cargo and subsequent packing of 2,412 pounds of items for return to Earth, the Leonardo module has been unberthed from the nadir port of the Harmony connecting node. The module will be put back into the payload bay of Discovery for the ride home.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2009The latches have opened, leaving Leonardo in the hand of the robot arm to back away from the station.
2352 GMT (7:52 p.m. EDT)
2315 GMT (7:15 p.m. EDT)All 16 bolts have been disengaged.
2310 GMT (7:10 p.m. EDT)Commands are being sent to drive open the bolts that have held Leonardo to the space station.
2300 GMT (7:00 p.m. EDT)Depressurization of the vestibule and leak checks between Leonardo and its berthing port on the Harmony node have been completed.
2247 GMT (6:47 p.m. EDT)The arm has a firm grasp on Leonardo. The astronauts will oversee the release of 16 electrically-driven bolts and capture latches that have kept the module structurally attached to the station. Once that work is finished, then Leonardo will be free to separate away.
2227 GMT (6:27 p.m. EDT)The International Space Station's robot arm is moving toward the grapple fixture on Leonardo. The arm will do the heavy lifting this evening to remove the module and maneuver it down into the shuttle's cargo bay.
1740 GMT (1:40 p.m. EDT)Work inside the Leonardo module has been completed for the mission. The hatch was just closed and locked.
The station's robot arm will grapple the module in a few hours for its berthing back in the space shuttle payload bay.
1555 GMT (11:55 a.m. EDT)The Discovery astronauts plan to detach the Leonardo cargo module from the International Space Station today and berth it in the shuttle's cargo bay for return to Earth. After a late-night farewell ceremony, hatches between the shuttle and station will be closed, setting the stage for undocking Tuesday.
Read our full story.
1532 GMT (11:32 a.m. EDT)Flight Day 11's wakeup music has played for the astronauts, beginning a day that will see the joint shuttle and station crews close up the Leonardo, detach it from the Harmony node and berth the reusable cargo-delivery module to Discovery's payload bay. Then later tonight, the crews will say their farewells to each other and close the hatchway in preparation for Tuesday's departure of the space shuttle.
1525 GMT (11:25 a.m. EDT)The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. L) can be downloaded here.
0655 GMT (2:55 a.m. EDT)A vaccine to protect people against Salmonella, a deadly bacteria that often contaminates food processing operations, is headed for human testing following commercial development in zero gravity on the space shuttle and International Space Station.
Read our full story.
0500 GMT (1:00 a.m. EDT)A chart showing Tuesday's undocking timeline can be seen here.
0100 GMT (9:00 p.m. EDT Sun.)The shuttle Discovery astronauts have begun their half-day off-duty time. Bed time is scheduled for 3:29 a.m. EDT.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2009At the robotics workstation, the astronauts are performing a complex process of moving the International Space Station's robot arm. It involves several relocations of the inch-worm arm in order to get the desired end positioned on the Harmony module in preparation for grabbing the Japanese HTV cargo spacecraft in a couple of weeks.
2200 GMT (6:00 p.m. EDT)
1935 GMT (3:35 p.m. EDT)For those keeping score at home, here's a look at the latest numbers on the amount of cargo being transferred between Discovery and the International Space Station during this mission:
1750 GMT (1:50 p.m. EDT)Sailing into the home stretch of a busy space station resupply mission, the Discovery astronauts worked Sunday to wrap up equipment and supply transfers before enjoying a half day off to relax and enjoy the view.
Read our full story.
1537 GMT (11:37 a.m. EDT)The Flight Day 10 wakeup call has been received by the shuttle Discovery crew. More transfer work and packing up the Leonardo module are the prime chores today, along with some off-duty time later tonight.
Read our earlier status center coverage.
Current Shuttle Mission Patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Discovery's flight to deliver equipment and research gear to the space station.
Ares 1-X Patch
The official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
STS-127 Mission Crew Patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Endeavour's flight to finish building Japanese section of the space station.