Mission Day 15: Time to go home

I dont think I could ever get tired of pictures of our planet from space, especially ones that show it’s general hugeness. Endeavour undocked this morning for the final time (and included a minor win for UK space flight, pilot Greg Johnson was born in Middlesex. Whoever said the UK doesn’t do space?). The Shuttle that first kited out the station all those years ago has one last appointment with the earth’s atmosphere that needs to be kept.

Not before they performed the STORRM fly around though, a procedure that brought about this particularly funny (well i think it’s funny) bit of banter between station shuttle crew…

Would love to find the video/audio of that actually being said (job for a later day I feel) but I have it on good authority that it was, probably at a similar point that this photo was taken…

The Shuttle crew leave behind three men who must now be in an almost ‘post christmas vibe’ (that moment when the festivities are over and everyone’s going back to their normal lives, after all they’ve just seen 9 people leave them in the past couple of days. Not to worry though, at least they’ve got some LEGO to play with…

One of the more important pieces of cargo that the shuttle delivered to the station in my opinion. Now that the station is complete i thought it was worth linking to an excellently detailed page on Space.com going through the various parts of the station, what does what, who’s responsible for it etc. This things going to be in orbit for at least another ten years so there’s never a bad time to find out what it does. Remember, it’s the single most expensive object ever built and there’s a good chance that at some point you paid for it.

Landing for the shuttle is scheduled for Wednesday morning (about 7:35 UK time) if you were planning on catching it. It’s a nighttime landing which means it might not be quite as spectacular as Discovery’s final ‘wheel stop’, but it’s still worth watching while you’re going through your breakfast. As normal NASA TV will have full coverage, and you never know a couple of the British news channels might pick it up as well. If you’ve never seen a landing before, just remember, it doesn’t have a second chance. The shuttle lands completely unpowered, so it’s coming down whether we’re ready for it or not.


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