Encyclopedia Astronautica
2005.08.06 - STS-114 MCC Status Report #23


Discovery is flying solo today, following its early morning departure from the International Space Station, concluding nine days of cooperative work between the two crews.

Pilot Jim Kelly was at the controls as latches between the two vehicles were released and Discovery began to back gently away from the Station. Undocking occurred at 2:24 a.m. CDT as the two spacecraft flew high over the Pacific Ocean, west of Chile.

As Discovery moved away to a distance of about 400 feet, Kelly began a slow fly-around of the Station. Cameras on each spacecraft captured video and still images of the other.

After the fly-around, Kelly executed the first of two separation burns to move Discovery away from the Station and begin its trip home. The entire crew - Commander Eileen Collins, Kelly, and Mission Specialists Andy Thomas, Wendy Lawrence, Steve Robinson, Charlie Camarda and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) enjoyed some scheduled off-duty time before going to sleep at 11:39 a.m. CDT.

The crew will awaken at 7:39 p.m. CDT and turn its attention to stowing away much of the equipment used over the past 11 days in orbit, and verifying operation of Discovery's flight control surfaces and system.

Over the course of nine days of joint work, the crews moved more than 12,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to the Station and will return about 7,000 pounds of material from the Station to Earth. Spacewalkers Noguchi and Robinson left all four of the Station's attitude control gyroscopes functioning with the removal and replacement of one of the 600-pound units. They also installed a new stowage platform on the exterior of the Station and worked with an experiment that exposes a variety of materials samples to the harsh vacuum and extreme temperatures of space. Discovery was docked with the Station for 8 days, 19 hours and 54 minutes.

Aboard the Station, newly resupplied and emptied of surplus gear, Commander Sergei Kirkalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips also had a light-duty day after undocking.

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