Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.03.24 - STS-123 MCC Status Report #29


The space shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station at 7:25 p.m. CDT, completing 11 days, 20 hours and 36 minutes of docked operations.

After saying their goodbyes, the two crews closed hatches between the two vehicles at 4:49 p.m. Undocking was delayed about 30 minutes due to a sticky latch used to lock a mechanism that pivots the P6 solar array to face the sun. The latch finally engaged on the third try, safely locking the array in place for undocking.

Following undocking, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson flew the shuttle to a distance about 450 feet away from the space station and conducted a fly-around of the complex. This offered the shuttle crew a chance to view and photograph the results of their two weeks of joint work, including the installation of the Japanese Kibo logistics module and the Canadian Dextre robot.

After one and a quarter laps around the station, Johnson fired the shuttle's jets again for the final separation from the outpost at 9:08 p.m.

The shuttle crew is scheduled to begin its sleep period at 1:58 a.m. and will awaken at 9:58 a.m. to begin their final full day in orbit prior to their scheduled landing at the Kennedy Space Center just before sunset on Wednesday.

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