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STS-108 Mission Status Report #01





STS-108
Report # 01 
 Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2001 - 6 p.m. CST 
 
 Endeavour lifted off this afternoon on the final space shuttle mission
of 2001, and, after a flawless climb to orbit, it is now on its way to
deliver a fresh crew to the International Space Station and return home a
crew that has spent four months in space.

The station was about 250 statute miles above the central Indian Ocean as
Endeavour rocketed away from Launch Pad 39-B at the Kennedy Space Center,
FL, on time at 4:19 p.m. CST. Endeavour will close in on the station for
the next two days and dock with the complex on Friday to begin a
week-long stay.

Endeavour is commanded by Dom Gorie with Mark Kelly serving as pilot.
Mission Specialists are Linda Godwin and Dan Tani. Also aboard Endeavour
are station Expedition Four crew members Commander Yury Onufrienko and
Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch, who are beginning more than
five months in orbit. 

Endeavour will bring home the Expedition Three station crew, Commander
Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail
Tyurin, who have been aboard the station since mid-August. In addition to
the new crew, Endeavour is carrying more than three tons of food,
supplies and equipment in the Raffaello logistics module to the orbiting
outpost.

Endeavourís crew will spend the next few hours unpacking equipment,
setting up computers and conducting the first of periodic engine firings
that will occur over the next two days to refine the shuttle's approach
to the station. The shuttle crew will begin a sleep period at 11:19 p.m.
CST and will be awakened at 7:19 a.m. CST Thursday. On Thursday,
Endeavour's crew will check out the shuttle's equipment and systems that
will be needed for Friday's final approach and docking to the
International Space Station. Docking is planned for just after 2 p.m. CST
Friday. On Saturday, the Raffaello module will be lifted from the shuttle
payload bay using Endeavour's robotic arm and attached to a station
berthing port to be unloaded. Godwin and Tani are planned to conduct a
four-hour space walk on Monday to install insulation around two solar
array rotation mechanisms. Raffaello will be returned to the shuttle
payload bay later in the mission and brought back to Earth.

In addition to a new station crew and supplies, Endeavour is carrying a
host of scientific investigations, including experiments from space
agencies, schools and universities across the United States, Europe and
South America as well as a small satellite that has involved more than
25,000 students in 26 countries. The next STS-108 mission status report
will be issued at about 8 a.m. Friday morning after Endeavourís crew is
awakened.



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