Launch: May 16, 2011
Time: 8:56 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: June 1 @ approx. 2:32 a.m. EDT
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility
Master Flight Plan
SRB Case History
Mission Video Vault
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Cdr Mark Kelly
Pilot Greg Johnson
MS 1 Mike Fincke
MS 2 Roberto Vittori
MS 3 Drew Feustel
MS 4 Greg Chamitoff
Mission Status Center
Live coverage of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-134 mission to the International Space Station. Text updates will appear automatically; there is no need to reload the page. Follow us on Twitter.
FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2011The Endeavour astronauts will use an instrumented boom on the end of the shuttle's robot arm early Saturday to make a close-up, "focused" inspection of a gouge in a heat shield tile on the belly of the orbiter that was spotted during final approach to the space station, NASA managers said Friday.
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2025 GMT (4:25 p.m. EDT)An Italian astronaut aboard a departing Russian Soyuz ferry craft Monday will snap out-of-this-world pictures and video showing the International Space Station with the shuttle Endeavour attached before heading for a landing in Kazakhstan, NASA officials said Friday.
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1958 GMT (3:58 p.m. EDT)MMT chairman LeRoy Cain says there's still no concern or alarm about this damage. But the team needs higher fidelity imagery to ensure the tile ding really doesn't pose a threat to Endeavour for re-entry. Performing the "focused inspection" is available to the analysts and they'll take advantage of that opportunity.
1954 GMT (3:54 p.m. EDT)The "focused inspection" will take three up-close images of the dinged tile and two data-takes using the laser on the Orbiter Boom Sensor System to give a three-dimensional understanding of the damage spot.
1946 GMT (3:46 p.m. EDT)The official decision has been made to proceed with a "focused inspection" on the one remaining dinged tile site on Endeavour that the analysts weren't able to clear based on the somewhat-fuzzy imagery they had from Wednesday's backflip maneuver. The team determined the additional photography to be gained by the "focused inspection" Saturday morning would give the insights necessary to understand the extent of damage.
1800 GMT (2:00 p.m. EDT)Endeavour's astronauts have gone to sleep after a very hectic Flight Day 5 of the mission. In addition to the spacewalk, the crew also worked on transferring items from the orbiter's middeck over to the station and they reviewed procedures to perform the "focused inspection" of the dinged shuttle belly tile tomorrow morning, if managers decide this afternoon that the imagery is needed.
Wakeup time for Flight Day 6 is 9:26 p.m. EDT. The heat shield inspection operations would begin with grappling the sensor boom around 12:30 a.m. and the scanning occurring around 2:30 a.m. EDT.
1715 GMT (1:15 p.m. EDT)GO FOR PHOTOS! The Mission Management Team for the International Space Station met today and formally approved plans for "the ultimate photo op" to occur Monday evening when the Russian Soyuz capsule departs the complex for landing. The crew will take digital imagery of shuttle Endeavour docked to space station, something never before attempted.
This opportunity comes as Expedition 27 commander Dmitry Kondratyev, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli leave the space station after half-year mission for return to Earth.
Once the Soyuz spacecraft undocks at 5:35 p.m. EDT, it will back about 600 feet away and then stop at 5:41 p.m. while the station performs a maneuver to present a side-angle view toward the capsule for photography. The optimum photo period occurs about 6:06 p.m.
Kondratyev will be flying the Soyuz manually during this event. Nespoli will be the photographer from the habitation module's window.
Soyuz then executes a separation burn at 6:15 p.m. to fly away from the station's vicinity. The craft's deorbit burn to brake from orbit comes at 9:36 p.m. for landing in Kazakhstan at 10:26 p.m. EDT.
1450 GMT (10:50 a.m. EDT)NASA today set Friday, July 8 as the official target launch date for the final space shuttle mission. Liftoff of Atlantis is scheduled for 11:38 a.m. EDT to begin the 12-day voyage to deliver equipment and supplies to the International Space Station.
1331 GMT (9:31 a.m. EDT)This was the 156th spacewalk devoted to International Space Station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998, the fifth so far this year. U.S., Russian, European, Japanese and Canadian astronauts have logged 980 hours and 12 minutes of EVA time at the station.
1330 GMT (9:30 a.m. EDT)This was the fourth EVA in the career of Drew Feustel and first for Greg Chamitoff. Feustel now has accumulated 27 hours and 17 minutes of spacewalking time, including the previous excursions to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009.
1329 GMT (9:29 a.m. EDT)EVA ENDS. Repressurization of the Quest airlock module began at 9:29 a.m. EDT, marking the official end of today's spacewalk by Drew Feustel and first for Greg Chamitoff. The EVA lasted 6 hours and 19 minutes.
The mission's second of four spacewalks is planned for Sunday starting around 2:15 a.m. EDT when Feustel and Mike Fincke head outside for the ammonia coolant topoff and lubricating the port-side Solar Alpha Rotary Joint. A third EVA is scheduled for Wednesday to install an operating base for the station's robot arm on the Russian Zarya module. The final spacewalk comes next Friday to transfer ownership of Endeavour's heat shield inspection boom over to the station.
1324 GMT (9:24 a.m. EDT)The airlock hatch has been closed and locked. Standing by for repressurization.
1305 GMT (9:05 a.m. EDT)Greg is about to ingress the airlock module. Drew is working outside Quest finishing the tool configs for Sunday's EVA.
1245 GMT (8:45 a.m. EDT)Spacesuit sensor failure interrupts spacewalk plan. Read our full story.
1240 GMT (8:40 a.m. EDT)Now passing the five-and-a-half-hour mark.
1235 GMT (8:35 a.m. EDT)Drew is using the final phase of this EVA to get some of the tools and equipment organized for the next spacewalk.
1218 GMT (8:18 a.m. EDT)The spacewalkers are getting the wiring in a good configuration to be left unfinished. What's being postponed is the task of opening a section of Destiny's external skin on the laboratory module to reveal an umbilical connector panel and doing the re-wiring necessary to operate those new antennas.
1208 GMT (8:08 a.m. EDT)The new communications antennas were physically installed to the Destiny laboratory this morning. But the spacewalkers won't have time to connect the umbilicals today. The task will have to be accomplished during a later EVA.
1204 GMT (8:04 a.m. EDT)Mission Control's conservative estimates on suit consumables vs. the expected amount of time to perform the wiring job today means today's spacewalk is going to end early. Houston has decided against diving into the wire routing work, instead instructing the spacewalkers to begin the cleanup chores and head back to the airlock.
1157 GMT (7:57 a.m. EDT)The original plan calls for the spacewalkers to work in tandem to install an external cable bundle on the Destiny laboratory between the connector panel and the new antennas just bolted in place.
1155 GMT (7:55 a.m. EDT)Without the carbon dioxide sensor working, the calculations of suit consumables aren't precise. So with the conservative estimates of how much spacewalking time remains for today before Greg would need to go back inside, Mission Control is re-assessing the plan.
1151 GMT (7:51 a.m. EDT)Flight controllers are looking at Greg's suit consumables and the available time remaining for the spacewalk, whether to press ahead with the lengthy wiring tasks today.
1143 GMT (7:43 a.m. EDT)The carbon dioxide monitoring sensor in Greg's suit has stopped working.
1135 GMT (7:35 a.m. EDT)And now the second of the two new antennas have been mounted to Destiny's hull by engaging two bolts.
1123 GMT (7:23 a.m. EDT)The first antenna has been bolted in place.
1111 GMT (7:11 a.m. EDT)Working on the top side of the Destiny laboratory module, Greg is removing two existing handrails and will use those open spots to install the two antennas.
1100 GMT (7:00 a.m. EDT)Coordinating today's spacewalk from inside the spacecraft is Mike Fincke. He offered a good description of this antenna installation task during a pre-flight interview:
"We're actually going to upgrade our wireless communication system aboard the International Space Station. One of the things when we were designing the space station, we had no idea what was to come in the future of wireless communications, and now we're able to communicate with all of our payloads that are on the outside of the space station wirelessly and it saves us mass and energy and things like that, just like most people at home have a wireless network, and we certainly do here at NASA.
"So on the outboard of the space station, we have to add some more antennas for our wireless network system so we can talk to things such as the payloads aboard ELC No. 3.
"Drew and Greg are going to open up a few panels on the lab from the outside and connect some wires, run the cables up to the antennas, connect the antennas on the outside of handrails, and that's going to take a couple hours to do something like that.
"That's relatively routine maintenance but it has a big impact on the space station communication."
1045 GMT (6:45 a.m. EDT)The next couple of hours in today's spacewalk is devoted to installing a pair of communications antennas outside the Destiny laboratory module of the International Space Station. Greg will be doing the actual antenna installation while Drew works on setting up the cabling.
1038 GMT (6:38 a.m. EDT)All of the nitrogen venting and work with the jumper lines has been accomplished for today. The system appears ready for the next spacewalk when the astronauts will top off the ammonia coolant in the space station's Port 6 truss photovoltaic thermal control loop, which has a small leak.
1024 GMT (6:24 a.m. EDT)The ammonia servicer line on P6 has been vented separately.
1017 GMT (6:17 a.m. EDT)With the venting completed, that jumper the spacewalkers temporarily routed over the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint between the P3 and P4 trusses is being demated on the P3 side by Greg. He's draping back to P4 and using wire ties to secure it for today. This will enable the SARJ to again rotate and track the sun for optimum power generation.
1009 GMT (6:09 a.m. EDT)That venting is finished. Next, Drew will float over to the Port 6 truss to vent one more line there.
1006 GMT (6:06 a.m. EDT)Drew is attaching one of the existing fluid lines between the Port 5 and Port 6 truss interface to a nitrogen venting tool. This tool will be used to expend all the nitrogen in the jumpers running back to the Port 1 ammonia tank assembly. Again, this is preparing the system for flowing ammonia coolant during Sunday's spacewalk.
1001 GMT (6:01 a.m. EDT)During a pre-flight interview, Greg previewed this work to prepare jumper lines for the forthcoming ammonia refill. Today's chore is venting nitrogen from the plumbing:
"One part of this four EVA sequence is refilling a radiator that's out on one side. To do that we have to sort of connect a lot of ammonia hoses between a lot of segments including one that jumps across the rotating Solar Alpha Rotary Joint which normally can't have a hose running across.
"We're going to go out and we're going to connect all these hoses and then vent them basically so that they're filled with N2, the nitrogen. We're going to vent them so that they're ready to be used for the ammonia fill on the next EVA.
"Then we connect them all and we disconnect the part that jumps that (SARJ) joint so that the joint can still spin freely. The solar panels are out here, they have to be able to continue rotating."
0955 GMT (5:55 a.m. EDT)A 16-foot-long jumper currently stowed on the Port 4 truss' bulkhead is being extracted by the spacewalkers to stretch across the port-side Solar Alpha Rotary Joint. Greg will attach one end on the P4 truss and Drew will connect the other end on P3. This jumper acts as a temporary bridge across the SARJ and ties all of the lines together between the P1 and P5 trusses.
0950 GMT (5:50 a.m. EDT)Both spacewalkers have made their way from the starboard side of the International Space Station's truss backbone over to the port side for the next activities that will set the stage refilling a coolant loop. Today, the spacewalkers are going to get jumper lines readied in preparation for Sunday's spacewalk that will perform the ammonia refill operation.
0940 GMT (5:40 a.m. EDT)Now two-and-a-half hours into today's spacewalk. Activities have been progressing smoothly for the Endeavour astronauts working outside the International Space Station.
0923 GMT (5:23 a.m. EDT)Greg is taking a now-empty equipment bag back to the airlock and will get a quick oxygen recharge for his spacesuit while there.
0918 GMT (5:18 a.m. EDT)Now Drew is working in the same vicinity to reinstall a protective cover on the starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint that was removed back on Expedition 16.
0909 GMT (5:09 a.m. EDT)Greg's light installation job has occurred on the Starboard 3 truss. It involved engaging a single bolt and plugging in a power connector.
0856 GMT (4:56 a.m. EDT)Drew has attached the new MISSE 8 case to the Express Logistics Carrier No. 2 pallet at the International Space Station and connected the power and data cabling to the experiment. The science payload exchange -- the highest priority EVA tasks on Endeavour's mission -- is complete.
0840 GMT (4:40 a.m. EDT)With this MISSE retrieval task successfully complete, the two spacewalkers are moving to separate chores next. Drew has picked up the fresh new MISSE 8 experiment from the shuttle bay to take up to the space station for deploying. Greg will be adding an external light to the station's truss.
0832 GMT (4:32 a.m. EDT)Drew has installed MISSE 7A on the port sidewall of Endeavour's payload bay while Greg mounted the MISSE 7B case on the starboard wall.
0815 GMT (4:15 a.m. EDT)Coordinating today's spacewalk from inside the spacecraft is Mike Fincke. He offered a good description of the MISSE science mission in a pre-flight interview:
"One of our highest mission priorities is to retrieve and set up new versions of an experiment called MISSE [Materials International Space Station Experiment], which is a materials experiment aboard the International Space Station.
"In the past, you might recall, NASA along with our industry partners, have been able to put materials out into space and to test new materials and new computer chips and things like that to see how they would handle spaceflight and the radiation environment as well as, you know, what's going on in the high temperatures, cold temperatures. And we had the Long Duration Exposure Facility back in the early part of shuttle days, and so these MISSEs have been really able with the space shuttle, by sticking them out on the International Space Station, really low cost but high benefit. The industry has been able to make better satellites and better materials for the satellites, all the way from solar arrays to the paint that they use on the outside of satellites, so it's helped our industry a lot by understanding how the materials behave in the space environment.
"So we're going to take MISSE No. 7 home. There are two of them, 7A and 7B. They're big suitcases; they fold open and close like a book, and Greg and Drew are going to put them off on their body restraint tether, BRT, on the side and go back to the shuttle payload bay and put them on the outside of the payload bay, so we're actually bringing cargo home and scientific experiments home.
"And then we're going to take out two new MISSEs, MISSE No. 8 which is a regular size MISSE; then we have a smaller one that doesn't require any electrical power; it's called Mini-MISSE, and Drew's going to put Mini-MISSE in as well as MISSE No. 8 and we're going to continue on with that round of experiments."
0807 GMT (4:07 a.m. EDT)The spacewalkers have removed the two MISSE packages and secured them on their spacesuits by tethers for hauling down to space shuttle Endeavour's payload bay. The cases will be stowed on opposite sides of the orbiter bay for the ride back to Earth.
0800 GMT (4:00 a.m. EDT)In a pre-flight interview, Greg Chamitoff talked about these MISSE experiment cases being exchanged on the spacewalk:
"The main things we're doing on this task is there's an experiment called MISSE [Materials International Space Station Experiment]. It's a space exposure experiment: basically they're like large suitcases with lots of samples inside it, and those samples can be everything from materials to paints to coatings to electronic equipment to biological samples, and they can come from different organizations, and the idea is to expose these things to the harsh environment of space for a long period and see what happens. If the seeds will still germinate, if a paint material will protect what's below it, see if a circuit can still work and to help us design better systems for the future.
"There's two experiments out there that are a part of MISSE 7; we're going to retrieve those, close up, take them back, put them in the shuttle cargo bay, and then we take new ones out of the cargo bay, MISSE 8, and we install them up on the truss."
0755 GMT (3:55 a.m. EDT)Greg has closed up the MISSE 7B experiment package. Next he'll demate power and electrical cables before physically removing that case from the space station.
0750 GMT (3:50 a.m. EDT)Drew has closed up the MISSE 7A experiment package.
MISSE stands for the Materials International Space Station Experiment. These packages have exposed various materials and coatings to the environment of low-Earth orbit since being deployed by spacewalker Randy Bresnik during the STS-129 mission in November 2009.
Scientists are looking at the effects of atomic oxygen, direct sunlight, radiation and temperature extremes on the test materials. The cases will be returned to the ground for analysis.
0740 GMT (3:40 a.m. EDT)In a pre-flight interview, Greg Chamitoff talked about going outside for his first spacewalk:
"On EVA 1 Drew and I go out and this is going to be my first time out the door. The first thing that I do is to stand back, they have a funny name for it, translation adaptation. We're so used to training underwater. Underwater it helps, you get a sense of zero g and sense of orientation; of course, gravity is still there. But the water resists your motion so it takes effort to move and very little effort to stop 'cause you have the water helping you stop the motion. In space your expectation is that it takes work to stop because there's nothing slowing you down. I have a couple minutes to do that, make sure I don't go flinging myself off the station 'cause I've pushed too hard while Drew sets up a couple of tethers."
0737 GMT (3:37 a.m. EDT)This is Drew's fourth EVA. He did three during the STS-125 shuttle flight to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009 for a total lasting 20 hours and 58 minutes of spacewalking time. Greg is taking his very first spacewalk today.
0733 GMT (3:33 a.m. EDT)Drew and Greg have egressed the airlock, gathered their equipment bundles and embarked toward their first worksite of the day -- the Express Logistics Carrier No. 2 on the starboard truss. That's where a pair of materials exposure suitcases will be retrieved by the spacewalkers for return to Earth.
0721 GMT (3:21 a.m. EDT)The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. D) can be downloaded here.
0711 GMT (3:11 a.m. EDT)EVA BEGINS. The spacewalkers switched their suits to internal battery power at 3:10 a.m. EDT, marking the official start time for today's EVA by Drew Feustel and Greg Chamitoff. This is the first of four spacewalks planned during Endeavour's mission at the International Space Station.
0710 GMT (3:10 a.m. EDT)The depressurization has been completed and the Quest airlock's outer hatch leading to space is now open.
0637 GMT (2:37 a.m. EDT)Depressurization of the Quest airlock module has begun.
0515 GMT (1:15 a.m. EDT)Astronauts Andrew Feustel and Gregory Chamitoff are gearing up for a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk to set up ammonia transfer lines between a storage tank and the International Space Station's outboard left-side solar arrays to clear the way for work during a second spacewalk Sunday to top off a leaking coolant reservoir.
Read our full story.
0457 GMT (12:57 a.m. EDT)The spacewalkers are getting into their spacesuits as preparations continue for today's EVA.
0230 GMT (10:30 p.m. EDT Thurs.)The astronauts just woke up to begin Flight Day 5, which will see Endeavour's mission transition into the next phase. After spending two days transferring the two primary payloads to the International Space Station, the crew now moves into a series of days devoted to spacewalks. Today's excursion by Drew Feustel and Greg Chamitoff is scheduled to begin around 3:15 a.m. EDT.
Read our earlier status center coverage.
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