Spaceflight Now


Follow space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission to finish assembly of the International Space Station's Japanese segment. Reload this page for the latest updates.

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FRIDAY, JULY 24, 2009
Astronauts Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn successfully installed four new batteries in the International Space Station's oldest set of solar arrays today, completing a high-priority job that was interrupted Wednesday by elevated carbon dioxide levels in Cassidy's spacesuit.

Read our full story.

2253 GMT (6:53 p.m. EDT)
The delivery pallet officially known as the Integrated Cargo Carrier -- Vertical Light Deployable, or ICC-VLD, has completed its role in Endeavour's mission and returned to the payload bay for the ride back to Earth.

The carrier held three large spare parts for the space station -- a communications antenna, cooling pump module and mobile railcar drive unit -- that were unloaded and stowed aboard the outpost during Monday's spacewalk for future use, if needed. It also housed the six fresh batteries for the Port 6 solar array truss that were installed during EVAs on Wednesday and today.

The old batteries removed from the truss were mounted on the carrier to be brought back to eager engineers on the ground.

2248 GMT (6:48 p.m. EDT)
Ready-to-latch indications finally received now.
2239 GMT (6:39 p.m. EDT)
The crew is having difficulty getting the carrier properly lined up in the restraints.
2219 GMT (6:19 p.m. EDT)
The pallet is being latched down into the payload bay.
2133 GMT (5:33 p.m. EDT)
The space station's robot arm has handed the cargo pallet to shuttle Endeavour's arm for placement into the payload bay.
2110 GMT (5:10 p.m. EDT)
How is the Hubble Space Telescope doing since its May orbital servicing? Check out our full story.
2107 GMT (5:07 p.m. EDT)
EVA ENDS. Repressurization of the Quest airlock module is underway, marking the official end of today's spacewalk by Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn at 5:06 p.m. EDT.

The excursion lasted 7 hours and 12 minutes. That brings the total time for the four spacewalks conducted thus far during Endeavour's mission to 25 hours and 36 minutes.

It was the second career spacewalk for both astronauts on their initial spaceflights. Cassidy has accumulated 13 hours and 11 minutes of EVA time; Marshburn's score card stands at 14 hours and 5 minutes.

The fifth and final EVA for the Endeavour mission is scheduled for Monday. Cassidy and Marshburn will perform that trek outside the spacecraft to install Japanese television camera equipment on the new Exposed Facility and deploy cargo attachment fixtures on the station.

2057 GMT (4:57 p.m. EDT)
Cassidy is back in the airlock. Marshburn will climb in next and close the hatch.
2050 GMT (4:50 p.m. EDT)
The spacewalkers are back at the Quest module and about to ingress the airlock.
2025 GMT (4:25 p.m. EDT)
The cargo carrier has been buttoned up by the spacewalkers and now the station's robot arm is maneuvering the pallet away. It will be berthed back into Endeavour's payload bay later today.
2016 GMT (4:16 p.m. EDT)
The spacewalkers are cleaning up the worksite and gathering their tools before heading back toward the airlock.
2009 GMT (4:09 p.m. EDT)
After a laborious two-spacewalk process, the exchange of six aging batteries that had lasted beyond their design life with a half-dozen new power packs has been completed by the space shuttle Endeavour astronauts. This achieves another of the primary objectives for the mission.
2003 GMT (4:03 p.m. EDT)
Final old battery is being secured in the pallet for the ride home.
1956 GMT (3:56 p.m. EDT)
Now underway by the spacewalkers is picking up the last old battery and putting it into the cargo carrier. Just over the six-hour mark in the EVA.
1950 GMT (3:50 p.m. EDT)
The International Space Station's original power truss has a half-dozen brand new batteries to last through the middle of the next decade. The spacewalkers just completed attaching the sixth and final replacement battery carried to orbit aboard shuttle Endeavour.
1942 GMT (3:42 p.m. EDT)
The last of the new batteries launched aboard space shuttle Endeavour has left its delivery pallet in the hands of spacewalker Chris Cassidy. That vacant slot on the carrier will be filled in a little while by the very first old battery removed the station on Wednesday and has been sitting on a temporary bracket atop the Port 6 truss for the past two days. This juggling of new and old power packs between the pallet and station was a carefully thought out shuffle.
1941 GMT (3:41 p.m. EDT)
The three new batteries installed thus far today have shown good aliveness, Mission Control says.
1924 GMT (3:24 p.m. EDT)
The spacewalkers have that old battery stowed and covered up with a thermal blanket. Now they'll retrieve the sixth new battery for installation. Mission Control says the astronauts are only 15 minutes behind the timeline, having caught up from a larger schedule deficit earlier.
1908 GMT (3:08 p.m. EDT)
The last of the six batteries slated for removal during Endeavour's mission to the International Space Station has been taken out.
1853 GMT (2:53 p.m. EDT)
Battery Echo has slid into its now home on the Port 6 solar array power truss and been bolted down.
1833 GMT (2:33 p.m. EDT)
The fifth of the fresh new batteries for the International Space Station's power system has been pulled off the launch carrier by the spacewalkers. The station's arm is holding the carrier as close to the worksite as possible. This particular pallet also carried the spare parts of the station that were unloaded during Monday's spacewalk. The structure will hold the old batteries during their return to Earth aboard the shuttle.
1830 GMT (2:30 p.m. EDT)
Both spacesuits are working well today. Mission Control projects the EVA-limiting consumable is oxygen that should last a total duration of seven hours and 30 minutes. The spacewalk just passed the four-and-a-half hour mark. If the crew needs more time to finish the battery task, they could return to the airlock for a quick recharge of the suits' oxygen supply.
1810 GMT (2:10 p.m. EDT)
The latest old battery has been placed aboard the carrier pallet, its mission at the space station now complete after almost nine years.
1740 GMT (1:40 p.m. EDT)
The spacewalkers have removed a fifth aging new battery from the Port 6 truss, the original power module launched to the International Space Station in November 2000 aboard shuttle Endeavour's STS-97 mission.
1719 GMT (1:19 p.m. EDT)
Spacewalkers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn have successfully installed on the P6 truss their second battery of the day. These new batteries have a design life of 6.5 years, each measure 40 by 36 by 18 inches and have a mass of 375 pounds.
1654 GMT (12:54 p.m. EDT)
Passing the three-hour mark of today's EVA.
1645 GMT (12:45 p.m. EDT)
New battery No. 4 is en route from the carrier to the station power module.
1630 GMT (12:30 p.m. EDT)
Temporary handles for the spacewalkers to use are being bolted on the next new battery.
1620 GMT (12:20 p.m. EDT)
The space station's robot arm is moving the pallet a few feet to give the spacewalkers better reach to the next new battery that will be extracted.
1612 GMT (12:12 p.m. EDT)
The old battery has been locked down on the carrier.
1600 GMT (12:00 p.m. EDT)
The spacewalkers have worked tandem to move the old battery to the launch carrier where it's now being stowed to ride back to Earth aboard Endeavour.
1533 GMT (11:33 a.m. EDT)
To learn more about the space station batteries, here's a video interview with Matt Fields of Boeing.
1532 GMT (11:32 a.m. EDT)
Ground controllers are receiving good data from the newly installed battery.
1530 GMT (11:30 a.m. EDT)
The next old battery, the fourth overall, has been removed from its slot on the station.
1526 GMT (11:26 a.m. EDT)
Mission Control says the spacewalkers are right on the timeline and the carbon dioxide removal systems in the spacesuits are working well today.
1519 GMT (11:19 a.m. EDT)
The third new battery has been successfully plugged in. The space station has gotten half of the new power packs planned for delivery during this mission.
1458 GMT (10:58 a.m. EDT)
Battery Charlie was just taken off the launch carrier, finally. The spacewalkers were in the process unpacking it Wednesday when that EVA was interrupted and had to end early.
1451 GMT (10:51 a.m. EDT)
With his feet secured in a work platform, spacewalker Chris Cassidy is releasing the next fresh battery from the delivery pallet that's hanging on the end of the space station's robot arm. While Cassidy focuses on the carrier, fellow spacewalker Tom Marshburn will be the astronaut to do the battery removals and installations on the P6 truss.
1435 GMT (10:35 a.m. EDT)
Cassidy and Marshburn are getting themselves situated and organized out at the P6 truss. Today's work begins with unpacking new battery No. 3 from the launch carrier and installing it into the open slot on the space station.

Of the six batteries being replaced on this mission, three old units were removed from the station during Wednesday's EVA and two new ones were installed. Two of the old batteries have been stowed on the carrier for return to Earth and one is temporarily stashed on the side of the truss.

1415 GMT (10:15 a.m. EDT)
The spacewalkers are climbing to the far left edge of the space station to the Port 6 truss worksite.
1354 GMT (9:54 a.m. EDT)
EVA BEGINS. The spacewalkers switched their suits to internal battery power at 9:54 a.m. EDT, marking the official start time for today's EVA by Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn. This is the fourth of five spacewalks planned during Endeavour's mission at the International Space Station.
1353 GMT (9:53 a.m. EDT)
The Quest airlock depressurization has been completed and the outer hatchway to space just swung open.
1319 GMT (9:19 a.m. EDT)
Depressurization of the airlock has begun in preparation for the spacewalk.
1245 GMT (8:45 a.m. EDT)
Astronauts Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn are suiting up for a seven-and-a-half-hour spacewalk today to replace a final four batteries in the International Space Station's oldest set of solar arrays, a critical task that was interrupted during a spacewalk Wednesday because of elevated carbon dioxide levels in Cassidy's spacesuit.

Read our morning story.

1130 GMT (7:30 a.m. EDT)
What's expected to be a grueling spacewalk lasting perhaps seven-and-a-half hours today, Endeavour astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn plan to finish the job started Wednesday of replacing batteries in the International Space Station's oldest power module. Both astronauts are getting suited up inside the Quest airlock module at this hour. The EVA is scheduled to start a little before 10 a.m. EDT.
1109 GMT (7:09 a.m. EDT)
An unmanned resupply ship for the International Space Station was successfully launched into orbit today, headed for a docking next week after the space shuttle Endeavour leaves the outpost.

Flying atop a Russian Soyuz U booster, the Progress M-67 spacecraft rocketed away from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1056 GMT (6:56 a.m. EDT).

A preliminary orbit was achieved after a nine-minute ascent provided by the three-stage rocket. Onboard commands then extended the Progress craft's two power-generating solar arrays that span 35 feet and unfurled communications and navigation antennas.

A series of precise engine firings scheduled for later today and continuing on Tuesday will guide the Progress toward its automated linkup. The docking is planned to occur Wednesday at 1116 GMT (7:16 a.m. EDT), or about 18 hours after Endeavour departs.

The 24-foot long ship will attach itself to the aft-facing port on the Zvezda service module. Today's launch is known in the station's assembly matrix as Progress mission 34P.

The Russian-made craft will deliver two-and-a-half tons of supplies to the station. The "dry" cargo tucked aboard the Progress amounts to 2,718 pounds in the form of spare parts, life support gear and equipment hardware.

The refueling module carries 1,830 pounds of propellant for transfer into the Russian segment of the complex to feed the station's maneuvering thrusters. The vessel also has 463 pounds of water and 110 pounds of oxygen.

The space station is occupied by the Expedition 20 crew of commander Gennady Padalka, NASA astronauts Michael Barratt and Tim Kopra, European astronaut Frank De Winne, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk.

Padalka will be standing by Wednesday to manually dock the Progress if the automated system experiences a problem.

1050 GMT (6:50 a.m. EDT)
The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. M) can be downloaded here.
0905 GMT (5:05 a.m. EDT)
Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" is this morning's wakeup song to begin Flight Day 10 of the Endeavour mission.

Read our earlier status center coverage.

STS-127 patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Endeavour's flight to finish building Japanese section of the space station.

Hubble crew
The official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase.


Expedition 20
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 20 crew is now available from our stores.

STS-128 patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Discovery's flight to deliver equipment and research gear to the space station.