For more information, please visit http://www.FragileOasis.org.
Greetings from the International Space Station. I am enjoying some time off after an incredibly busy two weeks. Since my last post, the Space Shuttle Endeavour docked, and then undocked after a very successful and productive mission. As I write this, the Endeavour crew is making final preparations for their return to Earth after sixteen-days in space. In the middle of Endeavor’s mission, half of the International Space Station crew departed for home in their Soyuz spacecraft. Dmitry Kondratiev, Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli are safely home on Earth.
Originally, the Soyuz was scheduled to undock after Endeavor’s mission, but the delay in her launch to the Space Station led to the Soyuz leaving while the shuttle was docked – a first, and a thrill.
On the day of Endevor’s rendezvous and docking, Dima and I positioned ourselves at the central post of the Russian Service module. I was manning a computer that controls the systems of the US Operating Segment (USOS), and Dima was at a computer that controls the systems of the Russian Segment (RS). At the moment of docking I sent a computer command for the space station to stop controlling attitude and go into free drift. Dima was at the ready to send the same command through the Russian systems, if necessary. Everything worked perfectly, and the final docking of Endeavour to the International Space Station went smoothly and beautifully.
The past couple of weeks have been filled with many new and incredible sights and experiences, but I’m going to save those for the next installment of this story about Space Shuttle Endeavour’s last trip to the International Space Station. Please stay tuned.