Monday, August 10, 2009

Astronauts Arrive at Kennedy for Launch Practice

Rick "C.J." Sturckow, commanding the STS-128 mission of Discovery, led his crew of astronauts to the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday to begin three days of launch training. Flying in T-38 jet trainers, Sturckow and Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester landed first under cloud-strewn skies. Mission Specialists Jose Hernandez and Sweden's Christer Fuglesang landed in separate planes just afterward. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Nicole Stott and John "Danny" Olivas arrived a few minutes later. The training the next few days includes M113 emergency vehicle practice and simulated shuttle landings in the Shuttle Training Aircraft. Discovery is being prepped at Launch Pad 39A for its part during Friday's countdown rehearsal, when the astronauts will be strapped in while they and the launch teams at Kennedy and the Mission Control Center in Houston, practice the complex choreography of liftoff.

Space Shuttle Mission: STS-128


The STS-128 crew arrives for TCDT.
Discovery Readies for Station Resupply Flight

Space shuttle Discovery will carry the Leonardo supply module to the International Space Station during STS-128, along with a new crew member for the station, Nicole Stott. Commanded by veteran astronaut Rick "C.J." Sturckow, the mission is targeted to liftoff Aug. 25 to deliver refrigerator-sized racks full of equipment, including the COLBERT treadmill, an exercise device named after comedian Stephen Colbert. Stott will take the place of Tim Kopra, who moved into the station during STS-127. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez, John "Danny" Olivas and Sweden's Christer Fuglesang round out the crew.

STS-128 Additional Resources
› Mission Summary (592 Kb PDF)

Endeavour Lands at Kennedy Space Center

Space shuttle Endeavour landed at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Friday with a touchdown at 10:48 a.m. EDT, capping the 16-day STS-127 mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle began its descent from orbit with a deorbit engine firing at 9:41 a.m., followed by a smooth re-entry that brought the winged spacecraft across Central America, Cuba and the state of Florida on its way to the spaceport.

Endeavour launched July 15 at 6:03 p.m. EDT from Kennedy's Launch Pad 39A. Highlighted by five spacewalks and intricate robotics work, the mission completed construction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. Astronauts attached a platform to the outside of the Japanese module that will allow experiments to be exposed to space.

STS-127 Additional Resources
› Mission Press Kit (6.9 Mb PDF)
› Mission Summary (429 Kb PDF)
› Meet the STS-127 Crew


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