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Crew Completes Final Heat Shield Inspection




19 AUGUST 2007

	*Crew Completes Final Heat Shield Inspection*

The STS-118 crew began its trip home today when Space Shuttle Endeavour 
undocked from the Space Shuttle Endeavour at 7:56 a.m. EDT. Shortly 
after the final separation burn, the crew began preparations for the 
return to Earth by conducting the final inspection of the orbiterís heat 

The astronauts used Endeavourís robot arm and a 50-foot-long Orbiter 
Boom Sensor System to inspect the nose cap and the leading edges of the 
wings. This process is conducted after undocking from the station to 
make sure the orbiter is ready for re-entry on landing day. STS-118's 
first landing opportunity on Tuesday is at 12:32 p.m. at Kennedy Space 
Center, Fla.

Undocking was moved up a day in preparation for landing on Tuesday. The 
earlier landing opportunity was selected in the event Hurricane Dean 
threatens the Houston area. It allows an opportunity for the shuttle to 
land before Mission Control, Houston, would be shut down in preparation 
for a storm. Mission managers are continuing to monitor the situation 
and assess their options.

The seven STS-118 astronauts are scheduled to enjoy some well deserved 
off-duty time after a busy stay at the station, which began Aug. 10. The 
STS-118 crew installed the Starboard 5 (S5) truss segment and 
transferred tons of cargo between the shuttle and the station. The 
STS-118 crew conducted four spacewalks at the station. The two major 
objectives were the installation of the S5 and the replacement of a 
failed attitude control gyroscope.

Animations: + Endeavour undocking from station 
| + Shuttle wings and nose cap survey 

*Hurricane Dean Information*
On-orbit Hurricane Dean Video: + Real Video 
| + Windows Media 
+ NASA Hurricane Resource Page 
Sent via sarex@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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