July 16, 2006 |
The shuttle Discovery left the International Space Station on Saturday en route to a planned homecoming Monday at the Kennedy Space Center. With Navy Cmdr. Mark Kelly piloting, the shuttle and its crew of six undocked from the station as the spacecraft flew 210 miles above the Pacific Ocean north of New Zealand. Kelly slowly eased the shuttle away before firing steering jets to separate the ships.
July 15, 2006 |
The space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station flexed their robotic arms repeatedly Friday, racking up a record for robotics in space and taking yet one more look for damage to the shuttle's heat shield. Down at mission control, engineers debated what to do about a leaking auxiliary power unit, one of three needed to control the hydraulic steering and braking maneuvers for landing the shuttle. Discovery is to touch down Monday morning at Kennedy Space Center.
July 13, 2006 |
Astronauts Michael E. Fossum and Piers J. Sellers completed the third and final spacewalk of the shuttle's 13-day mission Wednesday, testing repair techniques on purposely damaged heat-shield samples. The seven-hour spacewalk focused on refining procedures for the use of an adhesive called NOAX to seal cracks in the reinforced carbon panels that cover the shuttle's wing edges and nose cone.
July 11, 2006 |
Two astronauts from the shuttle Discovery completed a nearly seven-hour-long spacewalk Monday, installing new equipment and completing crucial maintenance work to the International Space Station that clears the way for NASA to resume construction of the station late this summer. Astronauts Piers Sellers and Michael E.
July 10, 2006 |
The space shuttle Discovery's astronauts got some happy news Sunday: It's safe to fly home. Mission Control informed the crew of six that the ship's thermal shielding was "100% cleared for entry" in another week. "Boy, that is great news, that's fantastic," shuttle commander Steve Lindsey said.
July 9, 2006 |
Two spacewalkers bounced around on the end of a "skinny little pole" 210 miles above Earth on Saturday in a daring test for future shuttle repairs. Astronauts Piers J. Sellers and Michael E. Fossum spent 7 1/2 hours outside shuttle Discovery on the fourth day of the ship's visit to the International Space Station.
July 8, 2006 |
After analyzing the shuttle's energy consumption, NASA officials on Friday decided to extend Discovery's mission by an extra day and add a third spacewalk to the astronauts' itinerary. Astronauts Piers J. Sellers and Michael E. Fossum will use the extra spacewalk Wednesday to practice making repairs to the carbon material that protects the shuttle's nose cone and the leading edge of the wings from extreme heat, said John Shannon, deputy shuttle program manager.
July 7, 2006 |
The crew of the shuttle Discovery successfully docked with the International Space Station on Thursday and prepared for a "focused inspection" today of several potential problem areas that have cropped up. NASA officials kept open the possibility of a spacewalk later in the mission to remove two bulging gap fillers -- spacers placed between the shuttle's heat-resistant tiles. NASA managers continued to portray the mission and the health of the shuttle in glowing terms.
July 6, 2006 |
An inspection of the shuttle Discovery on its second day in space showed the craft to be remarkably unblemished from its Independence Day launch -- unless you counted bird droppings. Photographs and radar scans of the 4.5-million-pound craft showed "zero" problems, said John Shannon, deputy director of the space shuttle program. "We don't have very many anomalies at all," he said during a news conference Wednesday at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
July 5, 2006 |
Despite lingering concerns about insulating foam falling from the shuttle's external fuel tank, NASA set off the biggest fireworks display of all Tuesday, successfully launching Discovery and its seven astronauts on a mission to the International Space Station. "I can't think of a better place to be on the Fourth of July," shuttle Cmdr. Steven Lindsey said minutes before launch. "We hope to give you an up close and personal look at the rocket's red glare." Discovery blasted off at 11:38 a.m.