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Space Shuttle Endeavour Docks Successfully to the International Space Station

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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Space shuttle Endeavour docked successfully to the International Space Station at 11:49 p.m. EDT.

About an hour before docking, STS-123 Commander Dominic Gorie and Pilot Gregory H. Johnson guided the shuttle through a back-flip maneuver, giving the Expedition 16 crew the opportunity to take pictures of the orbiter's protective heat-resistant tiles. These photos will be sent to engineers on Earth for analysis.

The STS-123 and Expedition 16 crews are conducting pressure and leak checks to prepare for the opening of the hatches between the two spacecraft at 1:08 a.m. Thursday. They will then greet each other and combine forces for 12 days of joint operations.

Mission Specialist Garrett Reisman will join the Expedition 16 crew by trading places with Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, a European Space Agency astronaut. The crews also will prepare for the first of five scheduled STS-123 spacewalks, which Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan and Reisman will begin at 9:23 a.m. Thursday.

In addition, the STS-123 crew will install the Canadian-built Dextre - the final element of the station's Mobile Servicing System - and the Japanese Logistics Module - Pressurized Section, which is the first component of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory.

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