Mar 17, 2009 02:20 PM
The space shuttle Discovery is moving closer to the International Space Station (ISS) as it prepares for a planned docking to the ISS at 5:12:46 P.M. (Eastern Daylight Time). According to NASA, the shuttle was 1,310 miles (2,100 kilometers) out as of 11:54 A.M. and was gaining on the ISS by about 600 miles (965 kilometers) with every 90-minute orbit. A series of maneuvers and thruster firings will ease Discovery into position for rendezvous.
Discovery launched without event Sunday after myriad delays stemming first from concerns about gaseous hydrogen valves aboard the orbiter and then from an unrelated hydrogen leak at the launch pad. A further wrinkle arose yesterday when a wayward piece of space junk headed toward the ISS had NASA considering an avoidance maneuver for the station. But the space agency later determined that the object would sail safely past. (It did indeed pass without incident early this morning.) The shuttle mission is delivering materials, including a replacement unit for a urine-to-water recycling system and additional solar arrays, to double the station's crew capacity from three to six.
The docking will be broadcast on NASA TV, followed by the hatch opening and a welcome ceremony at 6:58 P.M.
UPDATE (5:49 P.M.): Docking occurred at 5:19:53 P.M. (EDT) over Australia.
Photo of Discovery and its robotic Canadarm courtesy of NASA TV
international space station,
More News Blog: Next: Facebook app promises "greener" PCs Previous: Qatar to get cord-blood bank, thanks to Virgin's Branson
Deadline: Dec 11 2013
Reward: $52,000 USD
Platform technologies – tools, techniques, and instruments that enable entirely novel approaches for scientific investigation across a b
Deadline: Jan 27 2014
Reward: $15,000 USD
The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99X