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Space Shuttle Endeavour to Dock with International Space Station

A view of the Tranquility node in the payload bay of space shuttle Endeavour during the STS-130 crew’s first full day in space
A view of the Tranquility node in the payload bay of space shuttle Endeavour during the STS-130 crew’s first full day in space
Suzanne Presto

The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour is preparing to dock with the International Space Station early Wednesday. We report about the crew's first full day in space and what is ahead.

The space shuttle Endeavour's astronauts inspected the shuttle's thermal protection system and prepared to dock with the International Space Station during their first full work day in space.

NASA says Endeavour's crew spent much of the day inspecting the shuttle's heat-resistant tiles.   Experts on the ground will review three-dimensional views of the heat shield to ensure the shuttle did not sustain any damage during Monday's launch.

Soon after Endeavour blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida Monday, the shuttle launch integration manager, Michael Moses, said the team would quickly get down to business.

"You will see the crew get very busy, get right to work," said Michael Moses. "And the great thing is it is going to be a really good example of again international partnerships and cooperation between the station crew and the shuttle crew."  

Astronauts Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken inspected the spacesuits they will wear on their three planned spacewalks.  NASA says Russian cosmonauts and astronauts from the United States and Japan aboard the International Space Station spent the day getting ready to welcome Endeavour.

"With the six person crew up there and the shuttle crew joining them, everybody has got their task," he said. "Everybody has got their job.   And you will see some real peak efficiencies in the way the crew is able to execute, and it is an amazing thing to watch."

The mission's chief goal is to deliver and install a third connecting module - the Italian-built Tranquility node and the seven-windowed dome that will be used as a control room for robotics.  NASA says the dome will provide panoramic views of Earth and space.

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