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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-120
Payload: Harmony module
Launch: Oct. 23, 2007
Time: 11:38 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: Nov. 7 @ 1:01 p.m. EST
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC

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The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard Discovery's STS-120 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Pam Melroy

PLT: George Zamka

MS 1: Scott Parazynski

MS 2: Stephanie Wilson

MS 3: Doug Wheelock

MS 4: Paolo Nespoli

Up: Dan Tani

Down: Clay Anderson

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Video archive

STS-120 day 8 highlights

Moving the Port 6 truss to its permanent spot on the station and the ripped solar blanket are shown in the Flight Day 8 movie.

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STS-120 day 7 highlights

Juggling of the Port 6 solar array truss between the station and shuttle robotic arms highlighted work on Flight Day 7.

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STS-120 day 6 highlights

Spacewalk to detach Port 6 truss and discovery of debris in a solar array rotary joint are highlighted in the Flight Day 6 movie.

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STS-120 day 5 highlights

Highlights from Flight Day 5 see the astronauts enter into the newly-installed Harmony module.

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STS-120 day 4 highlights

The Flight Day 4 highlights movie shows Harmony's attachment to the station and the Discovery mission's first spacewalk.

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STS-120 day 3 highlights

This movie shows the highlights from Flight Day 3 as Discovery docked to the space station.

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STS-120 day 2 highlights

Flight Day 2 of Discovery's mission focused on heat shield inspections. This movie shows the day's highlights.

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STS-120 launch videos

Check out all angles of space shuttle Discovery's launch with our extensive video collection.

 Full coverage

STS-120 day 1 highlights

The highlights from shuttle Discovery's launch day are packaged into this movie.

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STS-120: Crew arrival

The space shuttle Discovery astronauts arrive at the Kennedy Space Center for their countdown to launch.

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STS-120: The programs

In advance of shuttle Discovery's STS-120 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-120: The mission

Discovery's trip to the station will install the Harmony module and move the P6 solar wing truss. The flight directors present a detailed overview of STS-120.

 Part 1 | Part 2

STS-120: Spacewalks

Five spacewalks are planned during Discovery's STS-120 assembly mission to the station. Lead spacewalk officer Dina Contella previews the EVAs.

 Full briefing
 EVA 1 summary
 EVA 2 summary
 EVA 3 summary
 EVA 4 summary
 EVA 5 summary

The Discovery crew

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

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Sources: Solar array repair spacewalk possible Friday
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: October 31, 2007; Updated at 10:45 a.m.

NASA and contractor engineers worked through the night assessing a variety of options for possible repairs to fix a ripped solar blanket on a partially extended space station array. Station program managers recommended early today, sources said, that NASA delay a fourth spacewalk from Thursday to Friday and devote the excursion to solar array repair work.

Under that scenario, the astronauts would forego any immediate inspection of a contaminated solar array rotary joint, deferring that work to a later mission, and delay a spacewalk by station commander Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko until after the shuttle Discovery departs.

Flight controllers asked Whitson and shuttle commander Pam Melroy to join them for a discussion of the crew's options earlier this morning, but the conversation was "privatized" and not broadcast on NASA's satellite television downlink. Sources said the decision to pursue a solar array repair was now the top priority, but there was no immediate official confirmation from NASA.

At a news conference earlier today, lead spacewalker Scott Parazynski said he and fellow spacewalker Doug Wheelock were ready for whatever NASA managers decided to do.

"I certainly don't have all the data on board yet," he said. "We've taken hundreds of photographs from our windows and from the station assets and folks in Houston are poring over the data trying to figure out exactly what might have happened. My initial take on it was maybe a guidewire that had been frayed earlier might have been the culprit. However, it looks to our eye via binoculars and photos that that guidewire may be intact.

"It really depends on what the root cause is. We have trained quite a bit (in Houston) and there are numerous contingencies we could effect on the solar array wing. Not sure if they're applicable to this situation, however. One of those might be (to) clip the guidewire, if that might be of help. But we'll see what (the ground team concludes)."

Asked how he and Wheelock might gain access to the damage site, which is well away from any point the station's robot arm can easily reach, Parazynski said the array could be retracted far enough to give the repair team access.

Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli "suggested we just climb up the mast and give it a good shake!," Parazynski joked this morning. "But that might be a little bit too aggressive."

"We actually have pretty good work site access from the bottom," he said. "We have (equipment) that allows us to basically place our foot restraint a little bit higher above the P6 structure. So we can reach about eight to 10 feet, I think, and get up above the level of the blanket box and make some repairs fairly low in. So if there were a need to effect a repair out where the damage occurred, we'd have to retract that array and do the repair close into the lower blanket box."

The Discovery astronauts successfully moved the 17-ton P6 solar array truss segment Tuesday, bolting it to the far left end of the power truss. The first of its two solar array wings, known as P6-2B, extended a full 110 feet as required, but the crew aborted deployment of the second P6-4B wing when one section of hinged blanket slats hung up, possibly due to a guide wire snag. Two seams between adjacent slats pulled open, resulting in separate tears, and the edges of several nearby slats were crumpled. The largest rip measured some two-and-a-half feet long.

"It was a tough situation because with the beta angle that we're at, which is the angle of the sun, the sun was shining directly into our camera views," Melroy said today. "In fact at one point, we actually did stop (the deploy) because we were concerned we had lost our big picture.

"Of course, we're always going to second guess ourselves and there might have been some other things we could have done. But I think we certainly aborted as soon as we saw something that wasn't right. And at the place we had stopped earlier, everything looked nominal so it was only a few more bays. So I think it happened fairly quickly and probably at a moment there was sun in our eyes. As soon as the sun was gone, we were able to stop. I think we did as well as we could under the environmental circumstances."

Eighty percent deployed, the P6-4B array can generate 97 percent of the electricity of a fully extended wing. The station is not yet using power from the torn array, but engineers say tests confirm no major damage to its internal wiring.

The immediate concern is figuring out a way to fully extend the P6-4B wing to provide the necessary structural rigidity. With a partially deployed panel, none of the arrays on the left side of the main power truss can be rotated as required to track the sun without risking additional damage. As a result, the station's left-side solar alpha rotary joint, or SARJ, is locked in place while engineers assess their options.

Adding to NASA's problems, the station's right-side arrays also are locked in place because of unexpected metallic contamination inside the starboard SARJ. Astronauts Scott Parazynski and Doug Wheelock worked earlier today to prepare their spacesuits and tools for a planned spacewalk Thursday to carry out a more detailed inspection of the right-side SARJ to look for the source of the contamination.

The SARJ mechanism features two 10-foot-wide bull gears and two redundant drive motors called drive lock assemblies, or DLAs. Only one DLA is used at a time to drive the outboard bull gear. The mechanism relies on 12 so-called trundle bearings, pressing against the outboard gear race with 1,000 pounds of force, to rotate smoothly.

During a spacewalk Sunday, astronaut Dan Tani removed one of 22 thermal blankets to look inside for any sign of whatever might be causing unusual vibration and power usage. He was surprised to find large amounts of metallic shavings in the joint, a clear sign of some sort of misalignment or other potentially serious problem.

Parazynski and Wheelock originally planned to test a new heat shield repair technique during the mission's fourth spacewalk but that work was deferred to a future mission to clear the way for a more thorough SARJ inspection. It is that work that would be delayed if NASA presses ahead with a solar array repair spacewalk Friday.

As of this writing, no official decisions have been announced. Space station flight director Heather Rarick said late Tuesday engineers needed additional photographs to help assess the solar panel's condition.

"We have some pictures that we've processed and they're not giving us the best insight into what it is at this point," she said late Tuesday. "I think we're asking (for) the crew to take some more pictures (Wednesday)."

Positioned on the far left end of the main power truss, the P6 solar array wings extend beyond the reach of the space station's robot arm. Engineers are studying the possibility of using the shuttle's 50-foot-long heat shield inspection boom to give the station arm additional reach and it may be possible to retract the damaged wing far enough for an astronaut to reach the damaged section.

"What to do next? Not really a clear answer yet," Rarick said late Tuesday. "They're putting ideas on the table. One of the key factors we have to figure out is how we access it, how we get a crew member up there if we do need to do some work, physically at the site as opposed to being able to do it by commands, wither by deploying or retracting. So that's being looked at, that'll take probably a fair amount of time to figure out and put that plan in place.

"Until we know what we think the cause is, maybe until we get some better pictures, I don't think we really have any solid leads on how to fix it yet," she said.

Here is an updated timeline of today's activity (in EDT and mission elapsed time; includes revision G of the NASA television schedule):


EDT........DD...HH...MM...EVENT

10/31/07
12:38 AM...07...13...00...STS/ISS crew wakeup
03:28 AM...07...15...50...Spacesuit resizing
04:13 AM...07...16...35...ESA/Italian Space Agency VIP event
04:28 AM...07...16...50...EVA-4: Tools configured
05:30 AM...07...17...52...ESA/ASI PAO event replay with translation
05:53 AM...07...18...15...EVA-4: Procedures review
06:48 AM...07...19...10...Joint crew meal
07:48 AM...07...20...10...Crew news conference
08:28 AM...07...20...50...Joint crew photo
08:43 AM...07...21...05...EVA-4: Airlock preps
09:00 AM...07...21...22...Crew news conference replay with translation
10:13 AM...07...22...35...EVA-4: Preparation review
11:08 AM...07...23...30...EVA-4: Conference
12:08 PM...08...00...30...EVA-4: Procedure review
01:53 PM...08...02...15...Crew choice video downlink
02:00 PM...08...02...22...Mission status briefing on NASA TV
02:28 PM...08...02...50...EVA-4: Airlock campout/tools configured
03:38 PM...08...04...00...ISS crew sleep begins
04:08 PM...08...04...30...STS crew sleep begins
05:00 PM...08...05...22...Daily video highlight reel on NASA TV
09:30 PM...08...09...52...Flight director update on NASA TV

Station problems aside, the shuttle Discovery is operating smoothly with no major problems. Earlier in the mission, NASA's Mission Management Team concluded the ship's heat shield came through launch in good condition with no major problems. The only open items as of this writing are a half-dozen readings from wing leading edge sensors in place to measure possible strikes by ascent debris micrometeoroids. Similar readings on past flights were attributed to the effects of temperature changes on the shuttle's aluminum structure. In keeping with post-Columbia practice, the wing leading edge indications will be checked out during an inspection after the shuttle undocks from the space station.

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SOLAR ARRAY WING TEARS DURING DEPLOYMENT PLAY
VIDEO: FIRST SOLAR ARRAY IS SUCCESSFULLY UNFURLED PLAY
VIDEO: HOUSTON BEGINS SOLAR ARRAYS DEPLOY SEQUENCE PLAY
VIDEO: SPARE POWER SWITCHING UNIT INSTALLED PLAY
VIDEO: INSPECTIONS OF PORT-SIDE ROTARY JOINT PLAY
VIDEO: RADIATOR UNFOLDED FROM THE P6 TRUSS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS PAUSE FOR QUICK PHOTOS PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS REMOVE SHROUDS FROM P6 BOXES PLAY
VIDEO: P6 TRUSS CAPTURED CLAW-LIKE INSTALL LATCH PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS HELP GUIDE P6 TRUSS INTO PLACE PLAY
VIDEO: DOUG WHEELOCK EMERGES FROM AIRLOCK FOR EVA PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM MOVES TRUSS FROM OVERNIGHT PARK SPOT PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF P6 TRUSS INSTALLATION PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF TUESDAY'S SPACEWALK PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ANOTHER RADIATOR DEPLOYED FROM THE S1 TRUSS PLAY
VIDEO: RADIATOR DEPLOYED FROM STARBOARD 1 TRUSS PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS HAVE SOME FUN IN HARMONY PLAY
VIDEO: CREW INTERVIEWED BY ABC NEWS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW INTERVIEWED BY NBC NEWS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW INTERVIEWED BY CNN PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF RADIATOR DEPLOYS PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF PORT 6 HANDOFF PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: POST-SPACEWALK MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM GRAPPLE BASE INSTALLED ON HARMONY PLAY
VIDEO: STATION CABLING FOR P6 TRUSS CONFIGURED PLAY
VIDEO: TANI COLLECTS SAMPLES OF DEBRIS IN ROTARY JOINT PLAY
VIDEO: TANI DISCOVERS UNKNOWN DEBRIS INSIDE ROTARY JOINT PLAY
VIDEO: THE PORT 6 TRUSS DETACHED FROM THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS UNBOLT THE PORT 6 TRUSS PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF PORT 6 REMOVAL PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF SUNDAY'S SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: BIOGRAPHY MOVIE ON DISCOVERY'S ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: BIOGRAPHY MOVIE ON EXPEDITION 16 CREW PLAY
VIDEO: BIOGRAPHY ON NEW EXPEDITION 16 MEMBER DAN TANI PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW INTERVIEWED BY CBS NEWS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW INTERVIEWED BY FOX NEWS PLAY
VIDEO: CREW INTERVIEWED BY WHAM-TV PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ENTER HARMONY FOR FIRST TIME PLAY
VIDEO: CREW COMMENTS FROM INSIDE HARMONY PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: POST-EVA MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: FIRST STS-120 SPACEWALK CONCLUDES PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM INSTALLS HARMONY ON THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: HARMONY MODULE LIFTED OUT OF PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: S-BAND ANTENNA STOWED IN DISCOVERY'S BAY PLAY
VIDEO: WHEELOCK RIDES STATION ARM WITH ANTENNA PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION STS-120'S SPACEWALK NO. 1 BEGINS PLAY

VIDEO: ANIMATED PREVIEW OF HARMONY INSTALLATION PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED ANIMATION OF SHUTTLE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: HARMONY'S PRE-LAUNCH PREPS AT THE CAPE PLAY
VIDEO: BACKGROUND INFO ON HARMONY MODULE PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FRIDAY'S SPACEWALK PLAY

VIDEO: THURSDAY MANAGEMENT TEAM NEWS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: POST-DOCKING MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: INSPECTION BOOM HANDED BETWEEN ROBOT ARMS PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: RING BETWEEN THE DOCKING PORTS RETRACTED PLAY
VIDEO: REPLAY OF DOCKING FROM PAYLOAD BAY CAMERAS PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY DOCKS TO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE APPROACHES STATION FROM BELOW PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF THE DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: BRIEFING ON LAUNCH IMAGERY AND TANK'S PERFORMANCE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS EXPLAINED PLAY
VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S LAUNCH AS SEEN LIVE PLAY
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA FROM LIFTOFF TO ORBIT PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: KSC RUNWAY PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 WIDESCREEN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA WIDESCREEN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 009 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 041 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 049 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 050 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 051 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 054 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 060 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 061 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 063 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA UCS-12 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA UCS-15 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY

VIDEO: THE CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR THE PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS SUITS UP ON LAUNCH MORNING PLAY
VIDEO: A LOOK BACK AT SHUTTLE DISCOVERY'S HISTORY PLAY
VIDEO: PAD 39A'S ROTATING GANTRY MOVED BACK PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW CLIPS WITH THE ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY MORNING'S STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY COUNTDOWN STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY COUNTDOWN STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: WATCH THE CREW'S ARRIVAL FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: NEWS CONFERENCE AFTER FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY ROLLS TO LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: CRANE HOISTS DISCOVERY FOR MATING TO TANK PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY MOVED TO THE VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY
VIDEO: HYDRAULIC SEALS REPLACED ON LANDING GEAR STRUT PLAY
VIDEO: FUEL TANK ATTACHED TO SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS PLAY
VIDEO: FOAM REMOVED FROM FUEL TANK FEEDLINE BRACKETS PLAY

VIDEO: STS-120 MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING PART 1 | PART 2
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF THE MISSION'S FIVE SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S ASTRONAUTS MEET THE PRESS PLAY
VIDEO: BRIEFING ON SHUTTLE AND ISS PROGRAMS PLAY
MORE: STS-120 VIDEO COVERAGE
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