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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0815 GMT (4:15 a.m. EDT)
Flight Day 4 is drawing to a close. The astronauts are finishing a day devoted to installing and activating the Leonardo cargo canister. Wakeup time tomorrow will be 12:59 p.m. EDT.
0630 GMT (2:30 a.m. EDT)
A review of the procedures planned during the mission's first spacewalk occurred a little while ago aboard the space station for the Discovery and Expedition 20 crews. Danny Olivas and Nicole Stott will venture outside the complex on Tuesday starting a little before 6 p.m. EDT to remove a depleted ammonia tank and retrieve some external science packages.

Otherwise, transfer has the name of the game in orbit tonight for the astronauts as equipment is shuffled between the orbiter, station and now the newly opened Leonardo module.

0355 GMT (11:55 p.m. EDT Mon.)
Running more than 90 minutes ahead of schedule, the astronauts just opened the hatchway and entered into the Leonardo module at 11:54 p.m. EDT.
0200 GMT (10:00 p.m. EDT Mon.)
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0022 GMT (8:22 p.m. EDT Mon.)
Work to pressurize the vestibule between Leonardo and the Harmony modules is running ahead of schedule, Mission Control says. The crew plans to open the hatches and enter the cargo-delivery module tonight.
0002 GMT (8:02 p.m. EDT Mon.)
More good news about shuttle Discovery's heat shield. The imagery analysts have now cleared the thermal protection tiles for entry and determined that no focused inspections will be required during a placeholder that's in the crew's timeline on Flight Day 6.
2240 GMT (6:40 p.m. EDT)
NASA's Mission Management Team met Monday and cleared the shuttle Discovery's nose cap and wing leading edge panels for re-entry as is. An assessment of the shuttle's heat shield tiles is continuing, but there are no signs of any serious problems and engineers hope to wrap up the analysis by Wednesday at the latest.

"We really have a very clean vehicle and the mission's going very well for us," said MMT Chairman LeRoy Cain. "We didn't have too many issues to talk about per se."

Aboard the orbiting shuttle-station complex, meanwhile, astronauts Michael Barratt and Discovery pilot Kevin Ford used the lab's robot arm to carefully pull a 13.5-ton cargo module out of the shuttle's cargo bay for attachment on the Harmony module's Earth-facing port

Read our full story.

2215 GMT (6:15 p.m. EDT)
The station's robot arm has released its grip on Leonardo and backed away.
2156 GMT (5:56 p.m. EDT)
The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, named Leonardo, has been successfully mounted to the nadir berthing port of the International Space Station's Harmony connecting node.

The Italian-made reusable module making its sixth trip to space is packed with about 15,000 pounds of cargo, including 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 and the treadmill named for comedian Stephen Colbert.

After Leonardo is emptied, no-longer-needed materials will be stowed into the module before it is detached and returned to the shuttle payload bay next week for the trip back to Earth.

2149 GMT (5:49 p.m. EDT)
Bolts are driving, latches are engaging.
2139 GMT (5:39 p.m. EDT)
The first stage capture has occurred. The arm will be limped for the next stage of bolt turning.
2133 GMT (5:33 p.m. EDT)
Leonardo has been seated into the docking port. And with that station flight engineer Michael Barratt has given a "go" to Discovery astronauts Tim Kopra and Christer Fuglesang to begin the initial capture sequence. The station arm will hold Leonardo while electrically-driven bolts tighten to firmly connect the cargo-delivery module to the space station.
2132 GMT (5:32 p.m. EDT)
Four good ready-to-latch indications have triggered.
2130 GMT (5:30 p.m. EDT)
Now just two feet away from the ready-to-latch position.
2118 GMT (5:18 p.m. EDT)
The "go" was just give to push onward to the ready-to-latch position.
2110 GMT (5:10 p.m. EDT)
The astronauts are giving the module a quarter roll before moving it inward to the Harmony module's berthing port.
2105 GMT (5:05 p.m. EDT)
The module has arrived at the pre-install waypoint.
2050 GMT (4:50 p.m. EDT)
The Canadian-built arm has hoisted the Italian module cleanly out of the shuttle's payload bay for today's attachment to the nadir port of the station's Harmony connecting node.
2046 GMT (4:46 p.m. EDT)
Leonardo is on the move, ever so slowly rising out of the shuttle bay.
2041 GMT (4:41 p.m. EDT)
The latches holding Leonardo in the payload bay have been released, freeing the module to leave shuttle Discovery.
2033 GMT (4:33 p.m. EDT)
The International Space Station's robot arm reached down into Discovery's payload bay and grappled the Leonardo cargo module at 4:08 p.m. EDT. The remotely controlled power umbilical between the shuttle and module has been disengaged, and the astronauts are preparing to command the restraining latches to open for Leonardo's unberthing.
1902 GMT (3:02 p.m. EDT)
Discovery's wing leading edge panels and nose cap, the reinforced carbon-carbon heat shield inspected on Flight Day 2, are in good shape and free of damage, CAPCOM Chris Ferguson radioed commander Rick Sturckow. The review of photography taken last night of the shuttle's belly tiles is ongoing.
1845 GMT (2:45 p.m. EDT)
Space station flight engineer Michael Barratt and shuttle pilot Kevin Ford, operating the lab's big robot arm, geared up Monday to pluck a 13.5-ton cargo module out of Discovery's payload bay for attachment to the station's forward Harmony module.

Read our full story.

1733 GMT (1:33 p.m. EDT)
The musical wakeup call with a Gloria Estefan song in Spanish has been played from Mission Control for the astronauts to start Flight Day 4. The Leonardo cargo module packed full of equipment and supplies will be moved from the shuttle's payload bay beginning around 3:45 p.m. and installed on the space station a couple of hours later. The crews plan to open the hatch and enter the module 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.

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.