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STS-126: Endeavour At Edwards

Endeavour has returned to the West Coast backup landing site, from a two-week mission to the International Space Station. Here are the stats:

Mission Elapsed Time:
15 days, 20 hours, 29 minutes, 37 secs

Official Landing Times
Main gear touchdown: 4:25:06PM EST
Nose gear touchdown: 4:25:21PM EST
Wheels stop: 4:26:03PM EST
Total miles: 6.6 million

NASA reports:

Endeavour Lands in California

Endeavour lands in California
Image above: Space shuttle Endeavour and the STS-126 crew land at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. after completing a mission to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV
› Submit your comments on STS-126

With commander Chris Ferguson and pilot Eric Boe at the controls, space shuttle Endeavour descended to a smooth landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The STS-126 crew members concluded their successful mission to the International Space Station when the shuttle touched down at 4:25 p.m. EST.

Endeavour arrived at the station Nov. 16, delivering equipment that will help allow the station to double its crew size to six. In addition, the STS-126 astronauts delivered Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Sandra Magnus, who replaced Greg Chamitoff, now a mission specialist who returned to Earth aboard Endeavour.

STS-126 is the 124th shuttle mission and 27th shuttle flight to visit the space station.

Discussion here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-126: TOUCHDOWN!

Shuttle Commander Chris "Fergie" Ferguson brought Endeavour home to a smooth landing at the West Coast backup landing site (using Edwards' temporary Runway 04), after a 250-orbit journey.  NASA reports:

Endeavour is Back Home!

Space shuttle Endeavour lands at Edwards AFB
Space shuttle Endeavour glides to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Photo credit: NASA

The STS-126 crew is working through a post-landing checklist for shutting down the orbiter after completing Endeavour's 22nd mission to the International Space Station.

It's been a little over 10 minutes since Endeavour and its crew touched down at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

A landing convoy will gather around the vehicle to begin "safing" procedures.

› STS-126 Mission Summary (475 kb PDF)
› STS-126 Press Kit (4.4 Mb PDF)

Discussion here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-126: DEORBIT BURN!

Endeavour fired its maneuvering rockets to drop out of orbit, on its way to a West Coast landing at Edwards AFB. On cable TV, CNN and Fox are showing brief segments. The burn took place at 3:19PM EST, which will bring the spaceraft gliding home at 4:25PM EST.  NASA reports:

Endeavour to Land in California


Deorbit to Edwards AFB on Orbit 250 for space shuttle Endeavour.
Image credit: NASA

The weather forecast is "no go" for landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida today and tomorrow. A front moving through Florida will see storms around Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility on both days.

Mission controllers have given Endeavour the go-ahead for the first landing opportunity at 4:25 p.m. EST at Edwards Air Force Base in California today.

› STS-126 Mission Summary (475 kb PDF)
› STS-126 Press Kit (4.4 Mb PDF)

Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-126: Florida Landing Scrubbed For Today

Both Florida landing opportunities have been scrubbed for today. Endeavour has two shots at landing in California today. If weather were forecasted to improve at KSC, mission managers might have kept the astronauts on orbit until tomorrow, but Nature is not cooperating. NASA reports:

Another Landing Delay for STS-126

EDW 250

Weather conditions forced flight controllers to pass on Endeavour’s second landing opportunity at Kennedy Space Center today. The next opportunity for STS-126 to land is at 4:25 p.m. EST at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

Endeavour arrived at the station Nov. 16, delivering equipment that will help allow the station to double its crew size to six. In addition, the STS-126 astronauts delivered Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Sandra Magnus, who replaced Greg Chamitoff, now a mission specialist returning to Earth aboard Endeavour.

STS-126 is the 124th shuttle mission and 27th shuttle flight to visit the space station.

Discussion here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-126: Landing Day

Flight Day 17 is scheduled to be the last in space for the Shuttle crew. Weather around KSC may send Endeavour to Edwards AFB instead of home to Florida. The most likely landing opportunity would place deorbit burn at 3:20PM EST and touchdown at 4:25 p.m. EST (2125 GMT). NASA reports:

STS-126 Crew Looks to End Mission Today

S126-E-011514 --- Astronaut Eric Boe
Image above: Astronaut Eric Boe, STS-126 pilot, checks on the lithium hydroxide canisters beneath the middeck of the space shuttle Endeavour. Credit: NASA
› Submit your comments on STS-126

Two landing opportunities are available for space shuttle Endeavour and the STS-126 crew at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., today. There also are two landing opportunities available at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

› View landing ground tracks

Endeavour's first landing opportunity is at 1:19 p.m. EST at Kennedy.

Endeavour arrived at the station Nov. 16, delivering equipment that will help allow the station to double its crew size to six. In addition, the STS-126 astronauts delivered Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Sandra Magnus, who replaced Greg Chamitoff, now a mission specialist returning to Earth aboard Endeavour.

STS-126 is the 124th shuttle mission and 27th shuttle flight to visit the space station.

Additional Resources
› Landing Ground Tracks
› STS-126 Press Kit (4.5 Mb PDF)
› STS-126 Mission Summary (475 kb PDF)
› Execute Packages
› About the Crew
› Shuttle Launch Manifest

Flight Day 16 videos are up at the JSC Gallery. Look for landing pics and video at KSC. Discussion here. Status Report #32 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-126: Flight Day 14

Happy Thanksgiving! The 10 members of the joint Shuttle-ISS crew are spending their last day together on-orbit. Here's something to be thankful for: spare tools. What's on the menu? Space turkey, of course! NASA reports:

STS-126 Astronauts Prepare to Leave Station

S126-E-008877 -- The Expedition 18 and STS-126 crew members
Image above: The crew members of Expedition 18 and STS-126 pose for a group portrait aboard the International Space Station. Credit: NASA
› Submit your comments on STS-126

The STS-126 and Expedition 18 crews are scheduled to bid one another farewell before the hatches between space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station close today. Endeavour is slated to undock Friday.

Prior to hatch closure, the two crews will have time off to spend the first part of the day as a team and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in the Harmony module. On the menu are smoked turkey, cornbread dressing, green beans and mushrooms, candied yams and cranapple dessert.

Endeavour is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Sunday.

Additional Resources
› STS-126 Press Kit (4.5 Mb PDF)
› STS-126 Mission Summary (475 kb PDF)
› Execute Packages
› About the Crew
› Shuttle Launch Manifest

Flight Day 13 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. Discussion here. Status Report #26 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

Today In Space History: ISS 10th Anniversary

NASA: ISS 10th AnniversaryOn 20 Nov 1998, the first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, was launched atop a Russian Proton-K rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Since then, many flights have been launched for assembly, repair, resupply, and crew transfers. The Station is a proving ground for technologies that will be needed for future voyages to the Moon and Mars, and it is a model for international cooperation here on Earth. Right now, there are 10 people in space, preparing the Station to accommodate twice the current crew of 3. Happy Birthday, ISS!

Below are some YouTube videos about the anniversary.

ISS 10th Anniversary:1of3 ISS 10th Anniversary:2of3 ISS 10th Anniversary:3of3
Live chat with ISS astronauts ISS:1998 to present NASA Astronauts Chris Ferguson and Mike Fincke
Space station marks 10th birthday Space Station: A step into the abyss Happy birthday, ISS

STS-126: Flight Day 7

Thursday will see the second of Endeavour's four spacewalks. NASA reports:

Crews Work on Home Improvements

Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen Image above: STS-126 mission specialists Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen participate in interviews with the Associated Press, KMSP-TV in Minneapolis and WCVB-TV in Boston. Photo credit: NASA TV
› Submit your comments on STS-126

The STS-126 and Expedition 18 crews worked Wednesday to prepare the station for larger crews. They also prepared for the second spacewalk of the mission.

Expedition 18 flight engineer Sandra Magnus and her predecessor Greg Chamitoff installed two new bedrooms in the Harmony node. Meanwhile, STS-126 mission specialist Don Pettit and Expedition 18 commander Mike Fincke spent the bulk of the day configuring hardware on the new Water Recovery System.

The crews also moved equipment and supplies between the two spacecraft.

Mission specialists Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Shane Kimbrough will camp out overnight in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for the second spacewalk of the mission. The purpose of this “camp out” is to purge the nitrogen from their bodies before their planned exit Thursday at 1:45 p.m. EST. Piper and mission specialist Steve Bowen completed the mission’s first spacewalk Tuesday.

Flight Day 5 pics and video are up at the JSC Gallery. Discussion here. Status Report #12 here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.