Commander Dom Gorie and his crewmates, Pilot Greg Johnson and Mission Specialists Bob Behnken, Mike Foreman, Takao Doi, Rick Linnehan and Garrett Reisman, early Wednesday completed a five-hour inspection of Endeavour's heat shield using the shuttle's robotic arm and the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. Imagery analysts and engineers on the ground will add these sensor images to those collected at launch and during the climb to orbit and continue their analysis of the orbiter's heat shield.
Additionally the STS-123 crew checked out the tools that will be used during Wednesday's rendezvous and docking to the station; installed the centerline camera that will be used during docking; and extended the outer ring of the Orbiter Docking System.
Spacewalkers Linnehan, Foreman, Behnken and Reisman checked the spacesuits that they will wear during the mission's five planned spacewalks.
On board the space station, Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Leopold Eyharts readied the station for the arrival of Endeavour by conducting a leak check of the docking port attached to the Harmony node.
About an hour before docking as the shuttle approaches the station, Gorie will perform the rendezvous pitch maneuver -an orbiter back-flip -600 feet below the station that will allow Whitson and Malenchenko to take hundreds of detailed images of the orbiter's underside. With the pitch maneuver complete, Gorie will fly the shuttle to a point about 300 feet in front of the station and then slowly ease the orbiter back to a docking.
STS-123 is budgeted for 16 days -the longest mission to the station -and will deliver the Japanese logistics compartment and the Canadian dextrous robot arm to their permanent home. A record five spacewalks will be performed while Endeavour is docked to the station to assist with the robotic attachment of the small logistics module and the assembly of Dextre -the Special Purpose Dextrous Manipulator that will extend the reach and capability of the station's robotic arm.
Endeavour's crew is scheduled to go to sleep at about 7 a.m. with the wakeup call from Mission Control scheduled for 2:58 Wednesday afternoon.