Sunday, March 22, 2009

Station Crews to Spend Quiet Day in Space

Six and one half days into the flight of Discovery to the international space station, the two crews of nine astronauts & one cosmonaut will spend a quiet day in space today after competing several of the major tasks of the STS-119 mission.

On Saturday, two of Discovery's astronauts - Steve Swanson & Joe Acaba - performed a several house keeping tasks around the outside of the space station. This followed a spacewalk on Thursday to help install Discovery's prime payload - the Starboard 6 solar array truss segment. This truss was attached to the S5 truss while two astronauts hooked up its power and data cables. On Friday, the solar wings were deployed successfully.

Discovery's crew were awoken this morning at 7:13 am EDT, to the music Alive Again, as the shuttle-station complex flew 220 statue miles over the far southern Pacific Ocean as it approached an orbital sunrise.

On Monday, two of Discovery's astronauts, Richard Arnold & Joe Acaba, will perform the third and final spacewalk of the mission.

On Wednesday, Discovery's crew will bid the space station farewell during a ceremony at about 12:40 pm EDT. This will be followed by Discovery's undocking at 3:53 pm. During the next hour after undocking, watch NASA-TV right here on as we see the new look of the space station as the orbiter moves away.

The current look of the space station is what the NASA artists invisioned the complex would look like - going all the way back to the mid-1980's. A truly beautiful sight. Also, click on our Space Station Tracking link at upper right of this page to see if this bright star will pass over your area soon.

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