Wed, 18 May 2011 16:52:15 -0500
Endeavour docked with the International Space Station at 5:14 a.m. CDT Wednesday, bringing an advanced scientific instrument that could answer basic questions about our universe, perhaps shedding light on dark matter and antimatter.
After a welcoming ceremony by the Expedition 27 station crew the Endeavour astronauts got the required station safety briefing.
The shuttle astronauts used the shuttle’s robotic arm to lift the ELC3 cargo carrier from Endeavour’s cargo bay and hand it off to the station’s Canadarm2 for installation on the station’s port 3 truss. That task was completed at 11:18 a.m.
The spacesuits that will be used on the four spacewalks scheduled during Endeavour’s stay were moved into the station. The STS-134 spacewalkers will alternate in two-man teams for the 6.5-hour excursions for installation and maintenance. Oxygen and cargo from Endeavour also were transferred to the orbiting laboratory.
During the docking process an advanced system called STORMM (Sensor Test for Orion Rel-nav Risk Mitigation) gathered data that could help future spacecraft dock to the station. It also will be used again during undocking and a subsequent test rendezvous.
On Thursday, astronauts are scheduled to install the $2 billion, 15,251- pound Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2, an advanced particle physics detector, atop the starboard 3 truss. There it is expected to automatically send information to scientists on Earth for the life of the station.