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The Mission




Orbiter: Discovery
Mission: STS-131
Payload: Leonardo
Launch: April 5, 2010
Time: 6:21 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: April 20 @ 9:08 a.m. EDT
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility

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STS-131 Mission Index







Departing Discovery leaves station stocked with supplies
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: April 17, 2010


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The Discovery astronauts bid their station counterparts farewell early Saturday, sharing a final round of hugs and handshakes before moving back aboard the shuttle and undocking from the lab complex. Separation occurred at 8:52 a.m. EDT as the two spacecraft sailed 220 miles above Papua, New Guinea.


Credit: NASA
 
"Houston and station, Discovery, physical separation," shuttle commander Alan Poindexter radioed as the docking systems disengaged.

"Discovery, departing," Expedition 23 flight engineer Soichi Noguchi called out, ringing the ship's bell in the lab's Harmony module.

"Dex you and your crew were excellent guests, we loved having you here, you helped us leave the station in a better place than when you got here," flight engineer Timothy Creamer radioed a moment later. "We'll miss you. Come back soon."

"Thanks, T.J., we enjoyed every minute of it," Poindexter replied. "Thanks for the great hospitality. We'll talk to you soon."

With shuttle pilot James Dutton at the controls on Discovery's aft flight deck, Discovery pulled straight away in front of the station before beginning a 360-degree photo-documentation fly around. Once back at the starting point in front of the outpost, Dutton will fire Discovery's maneuvering rockets and depart the area.

"The pilot's big moment of glory is getting to do the fly around of the space station," Dutton said in a NASA interview. "So we'll undock, back away around 400 to 450 feet in front of the space station and then begin to fly a maneuver over the top in front of the space station, essentially complete a 360-degree arc around the space station. Then we'll continue to maneuver to essentially break out of our orbit with the station, so we'll get a real panoramic view. As big as the station is now, I can't really imagine how breathtaking that will be, getting to see it from every perspective."

But the public will have to wait until Discovery lands to fully share that perspective. While occasional still photos from the shuttle are possible using the shuttle's S-band communications system, the failure of the orbiter's Ku-band antenna earlier in the mission will prevent routine live television from the shuttle for the remainder of its mission.

The combined 13-member shuttle-station crew gathered in the forward Harmony module earlier Saturday for a brief farewell ceremony.

"This is time when we have to say goodbye to our friends and colleagues," said Expedition 23 commander Oleg Kotov, one of three Russians on the station crew. "It was an excellent crew, shuttle Discovery flight 19A did excellent job, we enjoyed working with them and it's really, really sad to let them go, but it's time. Let me say again, thank you very much, we're really grateful for your help and your job you did for us. Thanks a lot."

Poindexter thanked the station crew for help with "a very successful docked mission and that is in large part due to the preparation that you did ahead of time."

"You treated us with just the utmost hospitality and we felt welcome the whole time," he said. "We hope we didn't tear up your house too much. We tried to do a good job of cleaning when we left. It was a great docked mission, very successful, we had three just outstanding EVAs and a lot of great robotics. The transfer team was just fantastic.

"Again, I want to thank you and your crew for all the help you gave us with transfer," Poindexter said. "It was just great. We're sorry to go. I know we'd all like to stay much longer, but we have to let you guys get back to your normal routine and get ready for (the next shuttle visit). So with that, we want to say thanks again and we hope to see you soon back home. Take care."

The two crews then exchanged embraces and handshakes and the shuttle crew floated back aboard the orbiter for the last time. Hatches were closed around 6:30 a.m. to set the stage for undocking.

Poindexter and his crewmates face a relatively light schedule for the rest of the day. A final heat shield inspection, normally carried out just after undocking, was performed Friday so the crew could use the station's Ku-band communications system to downlink the laser scans and video.

On Sunday, Poindexter, Dutton and flight engineer Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger will test Discovery's re-entry systems while their crewmates pack up and rig the ship for entry.

Landing back at the Kennedy Space Center is targeted for 8:51 a.m. Monday, but the weather could cause problems. The Spaceflight Meteorology Group at the Johnson Space Center in Houston is predicting showers within 30 miles of the Kennedy Space Center at landing time Monday with a slight chance of showers Tuesday. The forecast for Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., calls for good weather Monday and Tuesday.

Weather permitting, Discovery's re-entry trajectory will carry the orbiter above the heartland of America during its descent to the Kennedy Space Center, possibly the last time viewers in the continental United States will have a chance to witness the fiery streak of a shuttle entry. Detailed ground track charts and timelines are posted on the CBS News STS-131 Quick-Look page.

Here is a timeline of the remainder of today's activity (in EDT and mission elapsed time; includes revision M of the NASA television schedule; best viewed with fixed-width font):


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

08:37 AM...12...02...15...37...Sunset
08:52 AM...12...02...31...00...UNDOCKING
08:52 AM...12...02...31...05...Maintain corridor 
08:53 AM...12...02...32...00...Initial separation
08:54 AM...12...02...32...40...ISS holds current attitude
08:57 AM...12...02...36...00...50 ft
08:59 AM...12...02...38...00...75 ft
09:12 AM...12...02...50...51...Sunrise
09:20 AM...12...02...58...35...ISS Ku band un-park
09:21 AM...12...03...00...00...400 ft; start flyaround
09:30 AM...12...03...09...30...600 feet
09:32 AM...12...03...11...30...Shuttle directly above ISS
09:40 AM...12...03...18...58...Noon
09:44 AM...12...03...23...00...Shuttle directly behind ISS
09:55 AM...12...03...34...30...Shuttle directly below ISS
10:07 AM...12...03...46...00...Shuttle directly ahead of ISS
10:07 AM...12...03...46...00...Separation burn 1 (1.5 fps radial burn)
10:08 AM...12...03...47...05...Sunset
10:35 AM...12...04...14...00...Separation burn 2 (3.0 fps retrograde burn)
10:36 AM...12...04...15...00...Group B computer powerdown
10:40 AM...12...04...18...35...US solar arrays unlocked
11:30 AM...12...05...09...00...Mission status briefing on NTV
11:56 AM...12...05...35...00...EVA unpack and stow
12:41 PM...12...06...20...00...OBSS stow
01:56 PM...12...07...35...00...Ku antenna stow
02:00 PM...12...07...39...00...Post-MMT briefing on NTV
03:21 PM...12...09...00...00...ISS crew sleep begins
04:21 PM...12...10...00...00...STS crew sleep begins
05:00 PM...12...10...39...00...Daily highlights reel on NTV

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Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 12 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: LEONARDO PLACED INTO SHUTTLE BAY FOR LANDING PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOTIC ARM PLUCKS LEONARDO OFF THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SEALING LEONARDO FOR DETACHMENT FROM HARMONY PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY AFTERNOON'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NASA RULES OUT EXTRA EVA FOR DISCOVERY CREW PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 11 ACTIVITIES PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR POSSIBLE FOURTH EVA PLAY
VIDEO: EDUCATIONAL EVENT WITH NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: JOINT SHUTTLE AND STATION CREW NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 9 PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM MOVES OLD TANK SHUTTLE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS REMOVE HANDLING BAR FROM OLD TANK PLAY
VIDEO: UMBILICALS HOOKED UP TO NEW AMMONIA TANK PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 9 ACTIVITIES PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY AFTERNOON'S MISSION STATUS UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: RUSSIAN PRESIDENT CALLS THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE STATION CREW MARKS COSMONAUTICS DAY PLAY
VIDEO: ABC, MSNBC, FOX NEWS AND KUSA-TV INTERVIEWS PLAY
VIDEO: JAXA EVENT WITH JAPANESE ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7: MEAL TIME IN ZVEZDA PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7: GRUELING 7.5-HOUR EVA FINSHES PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7: VENTURING OUTSIDE THE STATION PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7: GETTING READY FOR ANOTHER EVA PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7: OLD CREW SLEEP BUNK REMOVED PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 7: TRANSFERS AND MORE TRANSFERS PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 7 PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: FINALLY WINNING THE BATTLE WITH TANK BOLTS PLAY
VIDEO: NEW COOLANT TANK MANEUVERED INTO POSITION PLAY
VIDEO: DEPLETED AMMONIA TANK REMOVED FROM STATION PLAY
VIDEO: STEP-BY-STEP WALKTHROUGH OF EVA NO. 2 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 7 ACTIVITIES PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 6: LIFE OF A SHUTTLE ASTRONAUT PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 6: "BUCKET BRIGADE" ON THE STATION PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 6: WORF INSTALLED IN DESTINY LAB PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 6 PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SCIENCE RACK INSTALLED BY JAPANESE ASTRONAUTS PLAY
VIDEO: NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL EVENT PLAY
VIDEO: CBS AND NEBRASKA MEDIA INTERVIEWS WITH CREW PLAY
VIDEO: SMOKE ALARM IN THE ZVEZDA SERVICE MODULE PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 6 ACTIVITIES PLAY

VIDEO: MISSION EXTENSION NEWS FROM FLIGHT DIRECTOR PLAY

HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5: SPACEWALKERS RETURN TO AIRLOCK PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5: UNLOADING THE LEONARDO MODULE PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5: STATION'S NEW EXERCISE MACHINE PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5: OPERATORS OF THE ROBOTIC ARM PLAY
HIGH DEFINITION TV DAY 5: SPACEWALKERS FREE AMMONIA TANK PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: CREW'S HOME MOVIES FOR FLIGHT DAY 5 PLAY
VIDEO: STOWAGE RACKS MOVED INTO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: NEW LABORATORY FREEZER FOR KIBO PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: RATE GYRO ASSEMBLY REMOVED FROM STATION PLAY
VIDEO: NEW AMMONIA TANK STOWED IN TEMPORARY SPOT PLAY
VIDEO: ANCHORING FIXTURE ATTACHED TO AMMONIA TANK PLAY
VIDEO: EXPERIMENT RETRIEVED FROM JAPAN'S SCIENCE DECK PLAY
VIDEO: STATION'S ROBOTIC ARM LIFTS TANK FROM SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: NEW AMMONIA COOLANT TANK UNBOLTED FROM CARRIER PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER PREPS AMMONIA TANK IN SHUTTLE BAY PLAY
VIDEO: THE START OF MISSION'S FIRST SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: STEP-BY-STEP WALKTHROUGH OF EVA NO. 1 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 5 ACTIVITIES PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: RADIO AND TV INTERVIEWS WITH CREW PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: LEONARDO MODULE ATTACHED TO SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: STATION'S ARM GRAPPLES THE LEONARDO MODULE PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF LEONARDO'S INSTALLATION PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY EVENING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: POST-DOCKING OF THE SHUTTLE BAY AND TAIL PLAY
VIDEO: DISCOVERY DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING ACTIVITIES PLAY
VIDEO: OBJECT LOST FROM SHUTTLE TAIL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-131 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF FLIGHT DAY 2 ACTIVITIES PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED TOUR OF DISCOVERY'S PAYLOAD BAY PLAY
VIDEO: DESCRIPTION OF KU-BAND ANTENNA PROBLEM PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE DISCOVERY BLASTS OFF! PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: GO INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY

VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AFB PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 070 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 071 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: KSC WEST TOWER PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS LEAVE CREW QUARTERS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW FINISHES GETTING SUITED UP PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: NARRATED REVIEW OF SHUTTLE'S PREPARATIONS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: NARRATED REVIEW OF PAYLOADS' PREPARATIONS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: PREPARING AN EXTERNAL TANK FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF GANTRY ROLLING BACK FOR LAUNCH PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH PAD'S SERVICE TOWER RETRACTED PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSED FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS INSPECT THE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: STS-131 MISSION PREVIEW MOVIE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH COMMANDER POINDEXTER PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH PILOT JIM DUTTON PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH RICK MASTRACCHIOPLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH METCALF-LINDENBURGER PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH STEPHANIE WILSON PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH NAOKO YAMAZAKI PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH INTERVIEW WITH CLAY ANDERSON PLAY

VIDEO: PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: COUNTDOWN STATUS AND WEATHER OUTLOOK PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF DISCOVERY'S LAUNCH COUNTDOWN PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: FULL FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW NEWS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: RECAP OF THE FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: HELIUM VALVE NO CONSTRAINT TO LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: MANAGERS ASSESS ISSUES BEFORE FLIGHT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: UPDATE ON PRE-LAUNCH PREPS AT PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: SPACEWALKING SUITS LOADED ABOARD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH STS-131 PAYLOAD MANAGER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: INTERVIEW WITH BOEING PAYLOAD MANAGER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: PAYLOADS DELIVERED TO LAUNCH PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TRANSPORT CANISTER ROTATED VERTICALLY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LEONARDO PLACED INTO THE TRANSPORTER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: STATION'S NEW AMMONIA COOLANT TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LEONARDO HATCH CLOSED FOR FLIGHT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: FILLING UP ONE OF THE SUPPLY RACKS PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: CAN THE SHUTTLE PROGRAM AVOID LOOMING RETIREMENT? PLAY
VIDEO: WHAT ABOUT ADDING ONE MORE SHUTTLE MISSION? PLAY
VIDEO: FULL BRIEFING BY SHUTTLE AND STATION OFFICIALS PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-131 MISSION OVERVIEW PRESENTATIONS PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE EVACUATION PRACTICE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW MODULE HATCH IS CLOSED PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS BOARD DISCOVERY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW BRIEFED ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURES PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TEST-DRIVING AN EMERGENCY ARMORED TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: NIGHTTIME APPROACHES IN TRAINING AIRCRAFT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS CHAT WITH REPORTERS AT PAD 39A PLAY
VIDEO: CREW ARRIVES FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: GANTRY PLACED AROUND DISCOVERY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DISCOVERY REACHES PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: OVERNIGHT ROLLOUT BEGINS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SHUTTLE HOISTED FOR ATTACHMENT TO TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CRANE ROTATES THE ORBITER VERTICALLY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DISCOVERY MOVES TO ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS VISIT THEIR SPACECRAFT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW GOES INSIDE LEONARDO MODULE PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK ATTACHED TO BOOSTERS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: FUEL TANK LIFTED INTO CHECKOUT CELL PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK ARRIVES AT SPACEPORT PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: DISCOVERY'S NOSE POD ATTACHED PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: INSTALLING DISCOVERY'S MAIN ENGINES PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: KSC'S SHUTTLE MAIN ENGINE SHOP PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: GASEOUS NITROGEN TANK REMOVED PLAY | HI-DEF
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