Status Report

NASA STS-134 Report #15 4:30 p.m. CDT Monday, May 23, 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
May 23, 2011
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NASA STS-134 Report #15  4:30 p.m. CDT Monday, May 23, 2011

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

HOUSTON – Endeavour astronauts said goodbye to half of their International Space Station colleagues Monday afternoon as the Expedition 27 crew members prepared to return to Earth.

Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman said their farewells to station crewmates and closed the hatch of their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft at 1:45 p.m. That was about two hours after Endeavour astronauts, sleep period had begun. Undocking is set for 4:35 p.m.

The Soyuz was to pause at a distance of about 200 yards, allowing Nespoli to gather imagery of the station and Endeavour, before moving away from the area. Landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan is scheduled for 9:26 p.m.

Endeavour crew members had most of the day off after the demanding and successful activities of their mission to this point.

Commander Mark Kelly and Mission Specialist Mike Fincke answered questions Sunday night from youngsters among about 400 kindergarten to fifth-grade students at Mesa Verde Elementary School in Tucson, Ariz.

Later in their day, members of Endeavour’s crew had a privatized conversation with spacewalk experts at the Mission Control Center. The chat was a review of activities of the mission’s second spacewalk on Sunday. Spacewalkers Andrew Feustel and Mike Fincke, intravehicular officer Greg Chamitoff and Kelly participated from Endeavour.

At about 8:30 a.m., Mission Specialist Roberto Vittori and fellow Italian Nespoli talked with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.