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Endeavour's Thermal Protection System Cleared for Entry

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Sun May 22, 2011 10:55 am via: NASA
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Mission managers cleared Endeavour’s thermal protection system for reentry after analysis of data and images from an early-morning focused robotic inspection of the tiles.

A conversation with the pope, the focused inspection and spacewalk preparation highlighted Saturday events aboard the shuttle and the International Space Station.

STS-134 Mission Specialists Drew Feustel, Mike Fincke and Greg Chamitoff worked for about two hours to configure spacewalking tools. Near the end of their day all crew members gathered for a spacewalk procedure review. Feustel and Fincke were spending the night in the reduced pressure of the station’s Quest airlock to lower the nitrogen content of their blood and reduce the possibility of nitrogen narcosis in the low pressure of the spacesuits.

Expedition 27 crew members Dmitry Kondratyev, Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli are scheduled to board their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft on the evening of May 23 and undock for a landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan.

Before departing, Kondratyev will hand over command to Andrey Borisenko who will remain aboard the station with Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan as the Expedition 28 crew. Three additional crew members, Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov, Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa are scheduled to launch to the station June 7 aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M.

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