June 2008
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STS-124: Docking Tomorrow

Discovery and her crew of 7 astronauts spent Flight Day 2 chasing after the ISS and checking the orbiter's wings for damage. Discovery will arrive at the ISS at 1:54PM EDT MondayNASA reports:

Inspections, Docking Preps on First Full Day in Space

STS-124 crew participates in interview
Image above: The STS-124 crew members aboard space shuttle Discovery participate in an interview with reporters on the ground. Photo credit: NASA TV

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The STS-124 crew members aboard space shuttle Discovery began their first full day in space by inspecting the orbiter’s heat shield and preparing for their arrival at the International Space Station on Monday.

Crew members used the shuttle’s robotic arm to perform a limited inspection of Discovery thermal shield and the leading edges of its wings. The purpose of this inspection was to ensure that no damage occurred to the tiles during launch. The tiles protect Discovery from the heat of re-entry.

If required, the usual detailed inspection of the heat shield will be performed later in the mission after the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) has been returned to Discovery. The OBSS is needed to perform a complete scan but was stowed on the station during STS-123 to make room for the Kibo laboratory’s Japanese Pressurized Module in Discovery’s payload bay.

Discovery’s crew members extended the Orbiter Docking System Ring and checked out rendezvous tools in preparation for their arrival at the station.

In addition, the STS-124 astronauts checked out spacesuits they will use during the mission’s three scheduled spacewalks at the station and participated in media interviews with radio and television stations in Minneapolis, Minn., and Bryan, Texas.

STS-124 Mission Information
› STS-124 Execute Packages
› STS-124 Mission Summary (539 Kb PDF)
› STS-124 Press Kit (7 Mb PDF)
› Meet the Crew

Flight Day 1 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. More pics and video at KSC. Discussion here. Status Report #3 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.