Status Report

NASA STS-118 Status Report #23 4 p.m. CDT Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007

By SpaceRef Editor
August 20, 2007
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NASA STS-118 Status Report #23  4 p.m. CDT Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

After nearly nine days of operations docked to the International Space Station, space shuttle Endeavour undocked from the orbiting complex at 6:56 a.m.

Undocking was moved up a day in preparation for landing on Tuesday. The earlier landing opportunity was selected in the event Hurricane Dean threatens the Houston area. Based on the forecasted track for Hurricane Dean, JSC will be open for normal business Monday and mission managers have elected to make no changes to current mission support or Mission Control Center operations.

After backing 400 feet away from the station, the STS-118 crew fired Endeavour’s engines for two planned orbital separation burns, the first at 7:23 a.m. and a second 30 minutes later at 7:53 a.m.

With the burns completed, mission specialists Rick Mastracchio and Tracy Caldwell used the shuttle’s mechanical arm and the Orbiter Boom Sensor System to inspect reinforced carbon-carbon material on the leading edges of Endeavour’s port and starboard wings as well as the nose cap area to make sure the vehicle’s thermal protection system is ready to support re-entry and landing. The data collected in the survey will be reviewed at the Mission Management Team meeting on Monday when the management team will give the final “go” for STS-118’s return to KSC on Tuesday.

The remainder of the day included some rest and off-duty time for the crew, including Commander Scott Kelly, Pilot Charlie Hobaugh and mission specialists Barbara Morgan, Dave Williams and Alvin Drew. They will begin their sleep period at 7:36 p.m. They will be awakened at 3:36 a.m. on Monday to begin what is expected to be their final full day in space.

Landing on Tuesday is targeted for 11:32 a.m.

The next status report will be issued Monday morning or earlier if events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.