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The Mission




Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-135
Payload: Raffaello
Launch: July 8, 2011
Time: 11:29 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: July 21 @ 5:57 a.m. EDT
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility

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Cdr Chris Ferguson

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Raffaello cargo module returned to shuttle bay
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: July 18, 2011


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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL--In the final hours of the shuttle program's last visit to International Space Station, the Atlantis astronauts detached the bus-size Raffaello cargo module, loaded with nearly three tons of trash and no-longer-needed equipment, and moved it back to the shuttle's payload bay early Monday for return to Earth. It was the 11th and final transfer of a multi-purpose logistics module in 10 years of space station resupply missions.


Credit: NASA
 
With Raffaello safely latched down aboard Atlantis, the shuttle astronauts -- commander Christopher Ferguson, pilot Douglas Hurley, Sandra Magnus -- planned to bid the stations six-member Expedition 28 crew farewell before returning to the shuttle later this morning, shutting hatches and rigging the ship for undocking early Tuesday. Landing back at the Kennedy Space Center to close out three decades of shuttle operations is expected around 5:57 a.m. EDT (GMT-4) Thursday.

"It's a little hard to realize that it's the last mission, largely because we've all been so busy," said space station Flight Director Courtenay McMillan. "It's just beginning to creep into (our) realization that it's coming to an end."

Atlantis delivered 9,403 pounds of equipment and supplies to the station inside the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module and more than a ton in the orbiter's crew cabin. By the end of the day Sunday, the astronauts had re-packed the cargo carrier with 5,666 pounds of trash, packing material and no-longer-needed equipment. Experiment samples and a few other last-minute items were moved into the shuttle's crew cabin early Monday.

"One thing to note, we had a new item added to the transfer list today, that was item 9,006 and that was (loadmaster) Sandy Magnus, to make sure she gets on the right side of the hatch when the mission is complete," McMillan joked. "But it turns out 9,006 is the total number of line items that have been tracked in (space station resupply) transfer lists over the course of the shuttle program, to the space station. So it's quite a lot.

"You imagine all the work that goes into each line item and doing that 9,006 times over the course of the program, that's huge. It's going to be a very odd morning to wake up and think we're not doing that part of the program again. All along the way there's going to be little moments like that where we realize, oh, we're not going another docking like this. We'll be doing other dockings, there are other vehicles coming, but it's never going to be quite the same. It's a strange feeling."

Along with overseeing the transfer work in her role as loadmaster, Magnus took time out to cheer for the U.S. women's soccer team, which lost to Japan Sunday in the Women's World Cup final. Shortly after wakeup, she congratulated Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, a space station flight engineer.

"I just wanted to say, there was a lot of trash talk yesterday going on, and I don't mean debating the nuances between payload trash and common trash," space station flight engineer Ronald Garan said in a morning tagup with mission control. "But I have to say, first thing this morning Sandy came over and congratulated Satoshi. She was a really good sport."

"Yeah, we knew she was a good sport, and I'm happy to hear we have international harmony on the station," astronaut Dan Tani replied from Houston.

"Only in node two," Garan joked. Node two's official name is Harmony.

With the station's robot arm locked onto Raffaello, commands were sent at 6:14 a.m. to begin driving the 16 motorized bolts holding the module in place on the station's forward Harmony compartment. Magnus and Hurley, operating the robot arm from a work station in the Tranquility module's multi-window cupola, pulled the cargo module away at 6:48 a.m. and carefully moved it to its mounting point in the back of Atlantis' cargo bay. The move was complete by around 7:47 a.m.

Here is an updated timeline of the crew's planned activities for flight day 11 (in EDT and mission elapsed time; includes revision K of the NASA television schedule; best viewed with fixed-width font):


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

07/17
10:29 PM...09...11...00...00...Crew wakeup

07/18
12:19 AM...09...12...50...00...ISS daily planning conference
12:44 AM...09...13...15...00...MPLM egress
01:04 AM...09...13...35...00...MPLM deactivation
01:24 AM...09...13...55...00...MPLM vestibule demate
01:34 AM...09...14...05...00...Middeck transfers
02:54 AM...09...15...25...00...MPLM vestibule depress
04:24 AM...09...16...55...00...Crew meals begin
05:34 AM...09...18...05...00...SSRMS grapples MPLM
06:49 AM...09...19...20...00...SSRMS uninstalls MPLM
07:54 AM...09...20...25...00...MPLM secured in shuttle payload bay
08:00 AM...09...20...31...00...Mission status briefing on NASA TV
08:19 AM...09...20...50...00...SSRMS ungrapples MPLM
09:19 AM...09...21...50...00...Farewell ceremony
09:34 AM...09...22...05...00...Hatches closed
10:04 AM...09...22...35...00...Leak checks
10:09 AM...09...22...40...00...Centerline camera install
10:49 AM...09...23...20...00...Rendezvous tools checkout
11:19 AM...09...23...50...00...ISS daily planning conference
01:29 PM...10...02...00...00...ISS crew sleep begins
01:59 PM...10...02...30...00...STS crew sleep begins
03:00 PM...10...03...31...00..."Launching our Dreams" video on NASA TV
04:00 PM...10...04...31...00...Flight day 11 highlights on NASA TV
09:59 PM...10...10...30...00...Crew wakeup

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VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLS THE ASTRONAUTS IN SPACE PLAY
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VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: CHICAGO, OAKLAND AND PHILLY TV INTERVIEWS PLAY
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VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
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VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
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VIDEO: PROTECTIVE COVER PUT ON VACANT DOCKING PORT PLAY
VIDEO: FIXING SNAGGED WIRE ON ZARYA GRAPPLE FIXTURE PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER GOES SIGHT-SEEING HIGH ABOVE EARTH PLAY
VIDEO: SATELLITE SERVICING DEMONSTRATOR GIVEN TO DEXTRE PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOTIC REFUELING MISSION MOVED TO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS SWAP POSITIONS ABOARD ROBOT ARM PLAY
VIDEO: PUMP STOWED IN ATLANTIS BAY FOR RETURN TO EARTH PLAY
VIDEO: STUNNING VIEWS OF ASTRONAUT RIDING ROBOT ARM PLAY
VIDEO: FAILED PUMP FREED FROM STORAGE BOX PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALK NO. 1 GETS UNDERWAY PLAY
VIDEO: STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: RAFFAELLO MODULE CONNECTED TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: CARGO-DELIVERY MODULE UNBERTHED FROM ATLANTIS PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM GRAPPLES MODULE IN SHUTTLE BAY PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION PLAY
VIDEO: DOCKING OF SHUTTLE TO STATION AS SEEN LIVE PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ARCS OUT IN FRONT OF SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS PERFORMS THE 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY


VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-135 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS BLASTS OFF! PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: GO INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: THE POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE 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: PAD FRONT CAMERA PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 070 PLAY | HI-DEF
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VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: COUNTDOWN PREVIEW AND WEATHER FORECAST BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT LAUNCH SITE PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS FERGUSON PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH DOUG HURLEY PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH SANDY MAGNUS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH REX WALHEIM PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-135 MISSION OVERVIEW PRESENTATIONS PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: CREW CHATS WITH PRESS AT LAUNCH PAD PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR PRACTICE COUNT PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: HEAR FROM ATLANTIS' CREW DURING ROLLOUT PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS ARRIVES ATOP LAUNCH PAD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CROWDS WITNESS FINAL SHUTTLE ROLLOUT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ROLLOUT FROM VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: HOISTING ATLANTIS TO TANK AND SRBS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ORBITER GOES VERTICAL PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SLING CAPTURES ATLANTIS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS LEAVES PROCESSING HANGAR PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ORBITER TRANSPORTER PICKS UP ATLANTIS PLAY | HI-DEF

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