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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-124
Payload: Kibo lab
Launch: May 31, 2008
Time: 5:02 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: June 14 @ approx. 11:15 a.m. EDT
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC

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The Crew




Meet the astronauts flying aboard Discovery's STS-124 mission.

Meet the Astronauts

CDR: Mark Kelly

PLT: Ken Ham

MS 1: Karen Nyberg

MS 2: Ron Garan

MS 3: Mike Fossum

MS 4: Akihiko Hoshide

Up: Greg Chamitoff

Down: Garrett Reisman

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Video archive

Discovery rolls out

Discovery travels from the Vehicle Assembly Building to pad 39A in preparation for the STS-124 mission.

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STS-124: The programs

In advance of shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-124: The mission

A detailed preview of Discovery's mission to deliver Japan's science laboratory Kibo to the station is provided in this briefing.

 Part 1 | Part 2

STS-124: Spacewalks

Three spacewalks are planned during Discovery's STS-124 assembly mission to the station.

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STS-124: The Crew

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

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Astronauts begin first full day in orbit
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: June 1, 2008

The Discovery astronauts were awakened for their first full day in space at 7:02 a.m. today by a recording of "Your Wildest Dreams" by the Moody Blues beamed up from mission control. The major items on today's agenda include spacesuit checkout for upcoming station assembly spacewalks by Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan; rendezvous and docking preparations; and an inspection of the shuttle's heat shield.

Several relatively large pieces of foam insulation from Discovery's external tank fell away during launch Saturday and while one or two may have struck the orbiter, the incidents occurred after the shuttle was out of the dense lower atmosphere when such impacts pose a threat to the heat shield. Even so, a thermal protection system inspection is standard procedure on flight day two.

But Discovery is not equipped with an orbiter boom sensor system (OBSS) heat shield inspection boom normally used to examine the ship's reinforced carbon carbon nose cap and wing leading edge panels the day after launch. Discovery's payload - the Japanese Kibo lab module - is so big the boom could not be carried. Instead, the crew of the most recent station assembly mission left their boom behind on the lab complex and Discovery's crew will retrieve it during a spacewalk Tuesday, the day after docking.

The boom will be used later in the mission to carry out a normal post-undocking inspection and possibly a so-called focused inspection on June 6.

About two hours after crew wakeup today, the astronauts downlinked video shot by Karen Nyberg showing the external tank after separation from the shuttle Saturday. The tank was fairly far away and to the untrained eye, there were no obvious signs of damage or major foam loss. But the video and still photos shot by Fossum will be examined in detail by analysts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

For today's inspection, the astronauts will simply use a camera on the end of Discovery's robot arm to inspect the areas of the wings and nose cap that are accessible without the 50-foot-long OBSS extension. But without the boom's laser scanner and high-resolution camera system, the astronauts will not be able to detect the kind of small-scale damage the OBSS was designed to find.

Another complicating factor is the robot arm's elbow camera. Because of clearance issues, the elbow camera is locked in place and cannot be used until later in the mission.

"On flight day two ... we are limited to pretty much the upper surfaces of the leading edges of the wings," said lead Flight Director Matt Abbott. "And that's due partly because of the arm itself and partly because we don't have access with the elbow camera. That means we can't really reach underneath, look too much underneath the port wing, because it's hard to tell the clearances of the arm, the movements of the arm, and the payload bay door. And so that elbow camera does restrict us a little bit.

"But the robotics teams have worked with the imagery teams to use the camera on the end effector to get a really good handle on the status of the upper surface of both the starboard and port wings. It's really the underneath surfaces we're a little bit limited on on flight day two. We actually do get a little bit of the lower surface of the port wing. So clearly not anything close to the data we usually get with the orbiter boom sensor system."

But today's video, in combination with launch imagery, sensor data and photographs shot by the station crew during the shuttle's final approach to the lab complex, will allow engineers to assess the overall health of the heat shield until the OBSS can be used later for a small-scale inspection.

"Given all that, we feel pretty good about our capabilities to see any kind of significant damage during those scans," Abbott said. "Moving on to the middle of the mission, we do have an opportunity for a focused inspection if necessary, if there are any areas of interest that have been determined up to that point."

Shuttle pilot Ken Ham said he's confident engineers will have the data they need to clear the heat shield for entry at the end of the mission.

"After we undock, then we go back to doing what every other flight has done on flight day two, which is the real thorough inspection of the leading edges of the wings," Ham said. "And we are in a situation where we've preserved enough propellant that if we find something that we deem to be critical or jeopardize our success for entry, we can come back to station and dock. So it's a pretty well thought out plan."

OBSS inspections take quite a bit of time. Without the boom for today's inspection, the crew will enjoy a slightly more relaxed timeline and participate in media interviews starting around 3:47 p.m.

Here is a schedule of today's activities (in EDT and mission elapsed time; includes rev. A of the NASA television schedule):


DATE/EDT...DD...HH...MM...EVENT

06/01/08
07:02 AM...00...14...00...Crew wakeup
09:22 AM...00...16...20...Ergometer setup
09:52 AM...00...16...50...Spacesuit checkout preps
10:02 AM...00...17...00...Laptop computer setup (part 2)
10:21 AM...00...17...19...NC-2 rendezvous rocket firing
10:22 AM...00...17...20...Spacesuit checkout
11:07 AM...00...18...05...Shuttle robot arm (SRMS) powerup
11:22 AM...00...18...20...SRMS checkout
12:07 PM...00...19...05...SRMS end effector heat shield survey
02:17 PM...00...21...15...SRMS payload bay survey
02:47 PM...00...21...45...Crew meal
03:47 PM...00...22...45...Media interviews
04:07 PM...00...23...05...Spacewalk equipment prepped for transfer
04:07 PM...00...23...05...Centerline docking camera setup
04:30 PM...00...23...28...Mission status briefing on NTV
04:37 PM...00...23...35...Orbiter docking system ring extension
05:07 PM...01...00...05...Shuttle waste/water dump nozzle inspection
05:12 PM...01...00...10...OMS rocket pod survey
05:47 PM...01...00...45...Rendezvous tools checkout
06:32 PM...01...01...30...Video playback
07:22 PM...01...02...20...NC-3 rendezvous rocket firing
10:32 PM...01...05...30...Crew sleep begins
11:00 PM...02...05...58...Daily video highlights reel on NTV
Discovery's systems came through launch in good condition. The only technical problem of any significance was trouble with a backup actuator system used to move Discovery's left-side orbital maneuvering system rocket nozzle. The engine can be used without the backup steering system, but flight controllers have decided to simply park it and use the right-side engine alone for upcoming station rendezvous rocket firings. The left-side engine will be employed as usual for re-entry at the end of the mission.

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: LIFTOFF OF DISCOVERY WITH KIBO LAB! PLAY
VIDEO: ONBOARD CAMERA FOOTAGE OF TANK FOAM FALLING PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF KIBO LAB'S PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED RECAP OF DISCOVERY'S PRE-FLIGHT CAMPAIGN PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD GANTRY RETRACTED FRIDAY NIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ROLLBACK PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S COUNTDOWN STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: BRIEFING ON KIBO LABORATORY FACILITY PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT THE CAPE FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S COUNTDOWN AND WEATHER BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE PLAY

VIDEO: NEWS BRIEFING FOLLOWING FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER MARK KELLY PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH PILOT KEN HAM PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS1 KAREN NYBERG PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS2 RON GARAN PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS3 MIKE FOSSUM PLAY
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH MS4 AKIHIKO HOSHIDE PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS PRACTICE EVACUATION OF SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW BOARDS DISCOVERY FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: TRAINING SESSIONS AT LAUNCH PAD AND BUNKER PLAY
VIDEO: CREW NEWS CONFERENCE AT LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ENCLOSING DISCOVERY PLAY
VIDEO: PAD'S ORBITER ACCESS ARM SWUNG INTO POSITION PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF CRAWLER RETREATING AFTER ROLLOUT PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY ROLLED TO PAD 39A PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: STS-124 MISSION OVERVIEW PART 1 | PART 2
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: KIBO LABORATORY TRAVELS TO THE LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: TRANSPORT CANISTER WITH KIBO ROTATED UPRIGHT PLAY
VIDEO: CRANE PLACES KIBO MODULE INTO TRANSPORT CANISTER PLAY

VIDEO: DISCOVERY HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO FUEL TANK PLAY
VIDEO: THE SHUTTLE MOVES TO THE VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY
MORE: STS-124 VIDEO COVERAGE
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