Endeavour Performs TI Burn

Wed, 18 May 2011 02:43:52 -0500

Commander Mark Kelly and the crew of Endeavour performed the Terminal Initiation burn at 3:38 a.m. EDT, firing the left Orbital Maneuvering System engine for 10 seconds to place the shuttle on the final path for its 6:16 a.m. docking to the International Space Station.

When Endeavour is about 600 feet from the station, Kelly will maneuver Endeavour through a backflip rotation to expose the heat shield to station crew members who will use digital cameras to photograph Endeavour’s upper and lower surfaces.

Expedition 27 Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman will take about 500 pictures of the shuttle’s thermal protection tiles. The photos will be transmitted to Mission Control for evaluation by imagery experts and mission managers to determine whether the heat shield sustained any damaged during launch.

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