Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON - The seven-member crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour spent the day completing a five-hour inspection of Endeavour's heat shield using the shuttle's robotic arm and the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. Ground controllers will use these sensor images, as well as those collected during launch, to ensure that the shuttle's heat shield is in good shape.
Preliminary analysis showed a small piece of thermal blanket came loose from the aft portion of the orbiter during Endeavour's ascent yesterday. This area is of no great concern since it is not an area that experiences high heat during reentry. The crew captured some images of the area during their inspection today, which will allow the ground controllers to look more closely and confirm the loss of the blanket and its size.
The crew also prepared for tomorrow's rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station, including checking out spacesuits onboard Endeavour that will be used during the mission's four spacewalks.
On board the space station, Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff spoke with ground controllers about the procedures they will use tomorrow to capture images of Endeavour as the shuttle performs its backflip, or rendezvous pitch maneuver, in advance of the docking.
Tomorrow's docking is scheduled for 4:04 p.m. CST. The crew is due to go to sleep tonight at 12:25 a.m. and will awake at 8:25 a.m.
The next status report will be issued after crew wake-up, or before, if events warrant.