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The Mission




Orbiter: Endeavour
Mission: STS-127
Payload: ISS 2J/A
Launch: July 15, 2009
Time: 6:03 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: July 31 @ approx. 10:48 a.m.
Site: Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC
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STS-127 Video Coverage

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Meet the astronauts flying aboard Endeavour's STS-127 mission.

CDR: Mark Polansky

PLT: Doug Hurley

MS 1: Chris Cassidy

MS 2: Julie Payette

MS 3: Tom Marshburn

MS 4: Dave Wolf

Up: Tim Kopra

Down: Koichi Wakata

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Video archive

STS-127: The programs

In advance of shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission to the station, managers from both programs discuss the flight.

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STS-127: The mission

A detailed step-by-step preview of Endeavour's STS-125 mission to install an external exposure platform on the station's Kibo science facility.

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STS-127: The EVAs

The lead spacewalk officer provides indepth explanations of the EVAs on Endeavour's assembly mission to the station.

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STS-127: The crew

The seven astronauts launching on Endeavour meet the press in the traditional pre-flight news conference.

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More video



Shuttle Endeavour's heat shield appears to be fine
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: July 17, 2009


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While the analysis is not yet complete, a quick look at photographs shot during the shuttle Endeavour's dramatic pitch-around maneuver during final approach to the space station today show the orbiter's heat shield appears to be in good condition with no obvious signs of damage beyond two areas of coating loss spotted during launch Wednesday.

"The video from the docking and the RPM maneuver was stunning as always," said John Shannon, the shuttle program manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "All of the photographs that the ISS crew took of the underside of Endeavour are in the process of being downlinked, I think we have all them on the ground, they're being reviewed.

"It's kind of funny, the only damage we see to the tiles on the vehicle is what we saw during the ascent from the LO2 feedline camera," he said. "The underside looked completely clean except for the three little spots we had from that first foam loss and that little line of, it looks like, tile top coat that was abraded off by the second foam (impact). So we didn't see anything down by the ET doors, or on the elevons or really anywhere else.

"The team is actively looking at those photographs of that chine area (where the known damage is located)," Shannon said. "It did not look (to be) of very big concern at all."

While Shannon was briefing reporters, the Endeavour astronauts were gearing up for a rocket firing to boost the shuttle-space station complex about a mile to avoid a piece of space debris that might otherwise have passed too close for comfort.

"We definitely will need to do a reboost," Janice Voss radioed from Houston. "We are expecting about two-and-a-half feet per second posigrade (rocket firing) and about 15 minutes reboost duration."

Lead Flight Director Paul Dye said he did not know how large the debris might be or what spacecraft might have been the source. Its catalog number is 84180.

Engineers will continue the heat shield photo analysis overnight and make a recommendation Saturday as to whether an additional, "focused" inspection might be needed later to collect additional data.

In another bit of good news for commander Mark Polansky and his shuttle crewmates, Shannon said engineers had completed an assessment of Endeavour's reinforced carbon carbon nose cap and wing leading edge panels, which experience the most extreme re-entry heating, and had not found any areas of concern.

"There were no issues at all with any of the wing leading edge panels or the nose cap," he said.

Endeavour's two solid-fuel boosters are being towed back to Cape Canaveral for disassembly and inspection. Shannon said cameras in each booster will be removed Saturday evening and engineers hope to begin reviewing the footage Sunday.

The booster cameras are expected to shed light on the unusual loss of foam insulation from the central "intertank" area of Endeavour's external tank, which suffered multiple losses during Endeavour's climb to space. While most of the intertank foam came off after the shuttle was out of the dense lower atmosphere, where it poses the greatest impact threat to the shuttle's heat shield, engineers want to understand what caused the unusual shedding.

The foam that caused the presumably minor damage in the two areas seen during launch Wednesday came off the tank right beside the 17-inch-wide liquid oxygen feed line that emerges from the side of the intertank. While that foam released earlier than the bulk of the intertank debris, Shannon said the same mechanism may be responsible.

Shannon said two teams are looking into the matter, one focused on what happened to Endeavour's tank and the other looking into what might be needed to ensure the next tank in the launch sequence is safe to fly.

External tank No. 132 is scheduled for use by the shuttle Discovery in late August and engineers are planning "pull" tests to measure how tightly bonded its intertank foam is to the underlying metal. Shannon said depending on what the tests show, the tank could be launched as is, repaired or taken off line and replaced by a follow-on tank.

Because the intertank foam separated relatively late in the ascent, it does not appear to represent the sort of impact threat that might suggest sweeping changes. But Shannon said it's too soon to say what impact, if any, the work might have on Discovery's launch campaign.

"We're still putting the plan together to go and do the plug pulls to ensure we have the proper adhesion," he said. "This is not dissimilar from previous work we've done when we've seen foam losses on other tanks. Right now, my expectation is this will not affect a late August launch of STS-128."

But NASA has delayed Discovery's move to the Vehicle Assembly Building for attachment to ET-132 and a set of boosters from Monday to next Friday to allow more time for testing. NASA's internal launch target remains Aug. 18, but that date already was in conflict with a Delta rocket launch and regardless of the upcoming testing, Discovery's flight likely will slip a few days.

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE FLIES OUT IN FRONT OF STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: BEAUTIFUL VIEWS OF ENDEAVOUR APPROACHING PLAY
VIDEO: STATION CAMERA CATCHES ENDEAVOUR'S "TI BURN" PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW ANIMATION OF HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-127 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BANANA CREEK VIP SITE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 070 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA 071 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-1 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-2 PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA CS-6 PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR BLASTS OFF! PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: STS-127 POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: FOOTAGE OF FUEL TANK AFTER JETTISON PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS REACH PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS FOR LAUNCH PAD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS DON SPACESUITS FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: WEATHER SCRUBS LAUNCH AGAIN PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW ARRIVES AT PAD 39A ON MONDAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS ON MONDAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS SUIT UP ON MONDAY PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: THUNDERSTORMS SCRUB SUNDAY'S ATTEMPT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW DEPARTS QUARTERS ON SUNDAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS SUIT UP ON SUNDAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: NARRATED SUMMARY SHUTTLE'S PREPARATIONS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: NARRATED SUMMARY PAYLOADS' PREPARATIONS PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: LIGHTNING STRIKES POSTPONE ENDEAVOUR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S STATUS REPORT ON THE COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: COUNTDOWN PREVIEW AND WEATHER BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS RETURN TO CAPE FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: NO LEAKS FOUND DURING SPECIAL TEST PLAY
VIDEO: EXPLANATION OF THE HYDROGEN LEAK AND THE REPAIR PLAY

VIDEO: POST-SCRUB NEWS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: FIRING ROOM UPDATE WITH LAUNCH DIRECTOR PLAY
VIDEO: SCRUB NO. 2 DECLARED DUE TO HYDROGEN LEAK PLAY

VIDEO: SUNDAY'S UPDATE FROM MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM PLAY
VIDEO: LEAK POSTPONES SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR LAUNCH PLAY

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF SUN SETTING OVER PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: ANOTHER TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY RETRACTION PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF LAUNCH PAD TOWER ROLLBACK PLAY

VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH MARK POLANSKY PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH DOUG HURLEY PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS CASSIDY PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH JULIE PAYETTE PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH TOM MARSHBURN PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH DAVE WOLF PLAY

VIDEO: THE STS-127 MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: JAPANESE SCIENCE FACILITIES ABOARD STATION PLAY
VIDEO: COUNTDOWN BEGINS TICKING FOR SATURDAY'S LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH COUNTDOWN PREVIEW BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: CREW ARRIVES JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: GET TO KNOW ENDEAVOUR'S ASTRONAUTS PLAY

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS PRACTICE EVACUATION OF SHUTTLE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW BOARDS SHUTTLE FOR PRACTICE COUNT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS SUIT UP FOR DRESS REHEARSAL PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW INSPECTS CARGO IN THE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TRAINING SESSIONS AT LAUNCH PAD AND BUNKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: INFORMAL CREW NEWS CONFERENCE AT LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW SETS LAUNCH DATE PLAY

VIDEO: PAD 39A GANTRY ENCLOSES SHUTTLE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ROLLAROUND MOVES ENDEAVOUR TO PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR IS HAULED OFF LAUNCH PAD 39B PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF SHUTTLE'S LAUNCH PAD SWITCH PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-127 MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: PAD 39B AND ITS LAST SPACE SHUTTLE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR'S SUNRISE ARRIVAL AT PAD 39B PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: MIDNIGHT ROLLOUT FROM ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CRANE ROTATES ENDEAVOUR VERTICALLY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ENDEAVOUR MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ORION AND ARES ROCKET PROGRESS REPORT PLAY
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