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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-119
Payload: S6 power truss
Launch: March 15, 2009
Time: 7:43 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: March 28 @ 3:13 p.m. EDT
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
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The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Lee Archambault

PLT: Tony Antonelli

MS 1: Joe Acaba

MS 2: Steve Swanson

MS 3: Ricky Arnold

MS 4: John Phillips

Up: Koichi Wakata

Down: Sandy Magnus

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Video archive

STS-119: The programs

In advance of shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-119: The mission

A detailed preview of Discovery's mission to deliver and activate the space station's final power truss is provided in this briefing.

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STS-119: Spacewalks

Four spacewalks are planned during Discovery's STS-119 mission to the station.

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STS-119: The Crew

The Discovery astronauts, led by commander Lee Archambault, meet the press in the traditional pre-flight news conference.

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Successful rendezvous for Discovery and station
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: March 17, 2009

With hugs, smiles and handshakes,the crew of the international space station welcomed shuttle commander Lee Archambault and his six crewmates aboard late today after a picture-perfect docking over western Australia.

Manually flying Discovery from the aft flight deck, Archambault guided the orbiter to a docking at a port on the front of the lab complex at 5:20 p.m. After the docking mechanisms locked the two craft together and leak checks showed tight seals, a final hatch was opened at 7:09 p.m.

Expedition 18 commander Mike Fincke, Russian flight engineer Yury Lonchakov and NASA engineer Sandra Magnus greeted Archambault, pilot Dominic "Tony" Antonelli, station veteran John Phillips, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and spacewalkers Steven Swanson, Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold aboard the lab complex.

"Space shuttle Discovery, arriving," Magnus said, ringing the ship's bell as the Discovery astronauts floated into the Harmony module. Magnus promptly welcomed her replacement, Wakata, aboard with an enthusiastic embrace. Wakata will remain behind aboard the station when Discovery undocks next week, becoming Japan's first long-duration astronaut. Magnus will return to Earth in his place after four-and-a-half months in orbit.

"All right, to the crew of Discovery, welcome aboard our beautiful international space station," Fincke said. "We've been waiting for you guys for a while. We understand you have a couple of really important things for us. First and foremost, Koichi-san, first long-duration Japanese guy in space ever. Welcome aboard!

"We also understand you have a (solar power) truss out there - more power to us - got some spacewalks lined up, we're excited for that. And also, it's always proper to recognize a former space station crew member. John, welcome back. It's gotten a lot bigger since we both first flew on here."

"It's great to be back," said Phillips, who completed a 179-day stay aboard the station in 2005.

"So welcome, Lee, welcome to your entire crew, we are dang glad to see you!" Fincke concluded.

Replied Archambault: "Mike, it's an honor to be here again, the second time for myself and Swanee and John. We're really delighted to join you, Sandy, Yuri. We've got a lot of work to do, we're looking forward to it. But this is a very special moment. So thanks for having us aboard."

"So let's get to work!" Fincke said.

After a mandatory safety briefing, the first item on the post-docking agenda was to transfer spacesuits from Discovery to the station, along with a custom seatliner that will enable Wakata to use the station's Soyuz lifeboat in an emergency. At that point, Wakata will become an official member of the ISS-18 crew and Magnus will take his place aboard Discovery.

Fincke and Lonchakov will be replaced later this month by Expedition 19 commander Gennady Padalka and Michael Barratt, who plan to launch March 26 aboard the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft. Fincke and Lonchakov will return to Earth April 7 aboard the Soyuz TMA-13 craft that carried them into orbit last October.

Lead Flight Director Paul Dye said Archambault flew a textbook rendezvous and docking, adding that no problems of any significance have yet developed.

"We had a wonderful rendezvous today, it was extremely smooth," he said. "I can't think of any one that I've had in recent memory that went that smooth. All the major burns we did were spot on, we didn't have to do any trimming, targeting was really nice. The manual phase, in close, flown by the crew was very efficient, it looked really really good to me. Everything was within our normal parameters. I've haven't gotten the prop (fuel usage) numbers yet, but I'm guessing they're pretty good."

During final approach to the station, Archambault paused 600 feet directly below the complex and carried out a graceful 360-degree flip to let the station astronauts photograph the heat-shield tiles that protect the shuttle's belly during re-entry.

"The RPM photos of the belly of the orbiter will be coming down as soon as the crew can get them onto the computer system," Dye said. "I think they're already being downloaded and that'll give our engineering community a chance to look over the belly of the orbiter. I have not gotten any definitive word on the inspection we've done yesterday, but I haven't heard any issues come up so I think that's going very well. I know they've looked at about 70 percent of it already this morning."

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: DISCOVERY PERFORMS THE 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-119 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: FRONT CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: THE VIP VIEWING SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY

VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY BLASTS OFF PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE'S CREW MODULE HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION SPECIALIST STEVE SWANSON BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: PILOT TONY ANTONELLI BOARDS DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER LEE ARCHAMBAULT BOARDS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF SUNRISE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF HYDROGEN ACCESS ARM RETRACTION PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF SATURDAY NIGHT'S GANTRY ROLLBACK PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S SHUTTLE AND WEATHER UPDATE BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: POST-SCRUB NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY IN THE PREDAWN DARKESS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S ROLLBACK OF PAD GANTRY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF PAD GANTRY ROLLING BACK PLAY
VIDEO: THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE IN FLORIDA FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: POST-ARRIVAL COMMENTS FROM THE CREW PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: SECOND LAUNCH POSTPONEMENT BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: NARRATED MISSION OVERVIEW MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MEET SHUTTLE DISCOVERY'S ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER LEE ARCHAMBAULT PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT TONY ANTONELLI PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 JOE ACABA PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 STEVE SWANSON PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 RICKY ARNOLD PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 JOHN PHILLIPS PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS5 KOICHI WAKATA PLAY

VIDEO: NASA OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE LAUNCH DELAY PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE STATION'S VIBRATIONS DURING REBOOST PLAY

VIDEO: INFORMAL NEWS CONFERENCE AT RUNWAY PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY POSITIONED ATOP PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: EARLY MORNING ROLLOUT FROM THE VAB PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY ARRIVING AT PAD 39A PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CRANE ROTATES DISCOVERY VERTICALLY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DISCOVERY MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: NOSE WHEEL LANDING GEAR RETRACTED PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY GOING VERTICAL PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF ASSEMBLY BUILDING CRANE WORK PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF DISCOVERY'S TRIP TO VAB PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF PAYLOAD'S MOVE PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: STS-119 MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY
MORE: STS-119 VIDEO COVERAGE
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