Status Report

NASA Report #21 3:30 p.m. CST Sunday, March 6, 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
March 6, 2011
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NASA Report #21  3:30 p.m. CST Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

HOUSTON Discovery astronauts wound up a successful and productive seven days, 23 hours and 55 minutes of joint activities with the International Space Station crew at 3:11 p.m. CST when hatches between the two vehicles were closed.

In a brief farewell ceremony, Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey talked about the missions accomplishments and thanked the station crew members for their hospitality.

We had a great time on board with you, replied station Commander Scott Kelly. Well miss you, but most of all well miss Discovery. We wish her fair winds and following seas, he said of the orbiter flying its 39th and final mission.

Both thanked teams on the ground for their support.

During their stay Discovery crew members delivered and helped install the Permanent Multipurpose Module Leonardo with its 6,500 pounds of cargo for the station, the Express Logistics Rack 4 now installed on the stations exterior, and delivered an additional 2,000 pounds of cargo on the middeck. During two spacewalks they completed a number of maintenance and installation tasks.

The mission is going extremely well, shuttle lead Flight Director Bryan Lunney said at an afternoon briefing. We couldnt be more pleased. Discovery and her systems continue to perform flawlessly.

Discovery crew members, Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott, with some help from their station counterparts, spent much of their morning wrapping up the transfers of equipment and supplies between their two spacecraft.

After an hour for a midday meal they had some free time during their afternoon. Later Bowen and Barratt checked out rendezvous tools Discovery will use as it moves away from the station.

After last-minute transfer of some medical experiments to Discovery for return to Earth, a farewell ceremony was held beginning a little after 2:30 p.m.

After the crews separated and hatches were closed, Drew and Stott installed a centerline camera to help Boe as he pilots the shuttle away from the station after the scheduled 6 a.m. Monday undocking.

Discoverys first landing opportunity is at Kennedy Space Center Wednesday at 10:58 a.m. Weather is predicted to be good, although conditions on subsequent days are more questionable.

The shuttle crew is to begin its sleep period at 6:23 p.m.

The Theme from Star Trek performed by Alexander Courage will serve as the wake up music to Discoverys crew at 2:23 a.m. Monday. It received the second most public votes from a Top 40 list in a Space Shuttle Program-sponsored song contest. The top two songs with the most votes from that list earned the right to be played as wake up music for Discoverys crew during its final mission.

The next status report will be issued after crew wakeup or early if warranted.

SpaceRef staff editor.