Spaceflight Now


Follow space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station. Reload this page for the latest updates.

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0930 GMT (5:30 a.m. EDT)
The 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.

The crew also extended the docking ring that connects to the shuttle's port on the space station and set up the centerline camera to be used in the final approach and tested various rendezvous tools to be used Sunday night.

Other work accomplished during Flight Day 2 included prepping the spacewalking suits and staging equipment to be transferred during the station visit.

Wakeup time for docking day is 1:29 p.m. EDT.

0615 GMT (2:15 a.m. EDT)
The Discovery astronauts conducted an inch-by-inch inspection of the most critical sections of the shuttle's heat shield Saturday, examining the ship's nose cap and wing leading edge panels with a laser scanner on the end of a 50-foot-boom attached to the shuttle's robot arm.

Read our full story.

0610 GMT (2:10 a.m. EDT)
Discovery reaction control jets have been fired for the latest course correction maneuver on the path to reach the space station. This burn lasted 13 seconds and changed the shuttle's velocity by about two miles per hour.
0501 GMT (1:01 a.m. EDT)
The Orbiter Boom Sensor System has been locked down in the payload bay, its job of inspecting Discovery's heat shield complete for today. The boom will be used again late in the mission for another round of observations to check for space debris impacts.
0424 GMT (12:24 a.m. EDT)
The port wing sweeps by the inspection boom have been completed by the astronauts. Ground analysts will need a day or two to review the data.

The crew will 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 Rick Sturckow 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.

0415 GMT (12:15 a.m. EDT)
The latest high definition video of the STS-128 launch is available to Spaceflight Now+Plus customers. A full listing of video can be seen here.

Standard definition clips are posted our video archive.

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0230 GMT (10:30 p.m. EDT Sat.)
Post-launch checks of the reinforced carbon-carbon panels on the leading edge of Discovery's port wing are underway.
0205 GMT (10:05 p.m. EDT Sat.)
The crew made quick work of the orbiter nose checks.

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.

0120 GMT (9:20 p.m. EDT Sat.)
The astronauts have swung the inspection boom into position out in front of Discovery to get a closeup look on the shuttle's nose cap. The crew will be working while eating lunch to get caught up on the timeline for this second part of the inspection sequence.
0105 GMT (9:05 p.m. EDT Sat.)
Danny Olivas, Christer Fuglesang and Nicole Stott have checked out their spacewalking suits to be worn during the three EVAs planned during shuttle Discovery's mission at the space station.
0100 GMT (9:00 p.m. EDT Sat.)
Inspections of space shuttle Discovery's starboard wing just finished. 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 Friday night's launch.
2323 GMT (7:23 p.m. EDT)
Inspections of the starboard wing have gotten underway now. Overseeing this work is pilot Kevin Ford and mission specialists Pat Forrester and Jose Hernandez.
2300 GMT (7:00 p.m. EDT)
Down on the lower deck of the spacecraft, the mission's spacewalkers are testing and readying three the spacesuits to be worn during the upcoming excursions outside the International Space Station.
2157 GMT (5:57 p.m. EDT)
The Orbiter Boom Sensor System, anchored on the end of shuttle Discovery's robot arm, has been lifted it out of the payload bay to begin today's heat shield inspections. Scans on the starboard side of the shuttle will be performed first.
2135 GMT (5:35 p.m. EDT)
Space shuttle Discovery's robot arm, under the control of pilot Kevin Ford and mission specialist Pat Forrester, has grappled the Orbiter Boom Sensor System for the upcoming unberthing of the inspection device.
2057 GMT (4:57 p.m. EDT)
The latest in the series of burns by Discovery on its trek to the International Space Station has been executed using the right-hand Orbital Maneuvering System engine for 16 seconds to change the shuttle's velocity 12 feet per second.
1900 GMT (3:00 p.m. EDT)
The Discovery astronauts faced a routine-but-busy first day in space Saturday, inspecting the shuttle's heat shield, checking out their spacesuits and readying the ship for docking Sunday with the International Space Station.

Read our full story.

1831 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT)
Mission Control has awakened the astronauts with the song "Back in the Saddle Again" by Gene Autry played for commander Rick Sturckow to begin Flight Day 2, the crew's first full day in orbit.

Today will be spent inspecting Discovery'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.

1820 GMT (2:20 p.m. EDT)
The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. E) can be downloaded here.

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.

Apollo Collage
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.