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General Health : Other News Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Space Shuttle reaches space station safely
By Jimmy Downs
Nov 16, 2008 - 5:17:39 PM

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Image above: The STS-126 and Expedition 18 crews greet each other. Photo credit: NASA TV
The space shuttle Endeavour arrived at the International Space Station this afternoon, NASA announced today.


The flight commander Chris Ferguson led his crew to have the space shuttle successfully docked with the space station’s Harmony Node at 5.01 pm EST.  


The station and shuttle crews opened hatches and greeted one another about two hours later.


The space shuttle did a normal back flip and positioned itself such that astronauts could photograph the shuttle's thermal protection system. The photos are necessary for examination of the heat shield to see if there is any damage.


NASA said Astronaut Sandra Magnus who newly arrived at the space station will take over the position held by astronaut Greg Chamitoff, who will return to Earth.


Below are press releases from NASA.


Hatches Open, Shuttle and Station Crews Greet Each Other

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 04:18:00 PM PST


The hatches between the International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour are now open. Expedition 18 welcomed the STS-126 crew members inside the Harmony Node at 7:16 p.m. EST. Sandra Magnus, who arrived aboard Endeavour, will soon swap Soyuz seatliners with station astronaut Greg Chamitoff and replace him as Expedition 18 Flight Engineer.


Space Shuttle Endeavour's docking with the International Space Station is scheduled today. The primary objective of the crew's 15-day mission is to prepare the station to accommodate six members for long-duration stays. In addition, traveling with STS-126 is a new Expedition 18 crew member, astronaut Sandra Magnus, who will replace Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff.


Today's major events include:


    * Rendezvous with station

    * Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver photography by the Expedition 18 crew

    * Docking to Harmony/Pressurized Mating Adapter 2

    * Hatch opening and welcome

    * Crew exchange of Magnus for Chamitoff

    * OBSS handoff from Canadarm2 to the shuttle robotic arm

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