Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Robotic Arms transfering Payloads in Space

Two robotic arms will transfer a key platform which support an array of scientific experiments from space shuttle Endeavour to the international space station for attachment to the Japanese module known as Kibo.

At 8:27 am EDT, Canadian space agency astronaut Julie Payette used Endeavour's 50-foot arm to snare an attached pin on the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module (JEL); and minutes later, began slowly lifting it out of the ship's payload bay.

Soaring 220 miles above earth, the two Canadian-built robotic arms - one aboard shuttle and one aboard station - will hand off to one another the 5400-pound JEL this morning at about 9:43 am.

As the robotic transfer were underway, two astronauts, David Wolf and Chris Cassidy, were checking out their spacesuits and tools which they will use during Wednesday's third spacewalk of the STS-127 mission.

The crew of Endeavour will spend this afternoon in an "off duty" period as NASA rests the crew before the start this week of three more spacewalks, equipment and supply transfers, and more robotics in space.

Endeavour is set to undock from the space station on July 28th at about 1:26 pm EDT.

Also today, at 3PM, NASA-TV will air the newly recovered solid rocket boosters video camera's views from Endeavour's July 15th evening launch. A beautiful "along for the ride" presentation.

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