Space Hook-Up

Space Shuttle Discovery prior to docking with International Space Station. Image by NASA.

Space Shuttle Discovery prior to docking with International Space Station. Image by NASA.

Discovery Docks at Space Station

Space shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station at 8:54 p.m. EDT. After hatch opening and a routine safety briefing, the two crews will start their joint operations. For the second time in history, thirteen people will work together on one spacecraft for eight days.

Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Kevin Ford performed a few final corrective jet firings to refine the orbiter’s path to the station to poise them for a rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM) under the station. While Sturckow performed the “backflip”, Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Barratt took photos from the station. Their photos will be reviewed by experts on the ground for evidence of damage to the shuttle tiles.

And Astronaut Jose Hernandez

continues to find time in his busy schedule to keep up with his historic Tweets

Astronaut Jose Hernandez Twitter page. Image capture by Jing

Astronaut Jose Hernandez Twitter page. Image capture by Jing

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Buen Viaje, Jose!

and the rest of the crew.

Space Shuttle Discovery lifts of at 11:59 pm, August 28, 2009. Image by NASA

Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off at 11:59 pm, August 28, 2009. Image by NASA

Here’s the NASA announcement:

Discovery Launches!

Sat, 29 Aug 2009 12:05:10 AM EDT

Space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts are rocketing toward orbit after a brilliant nighttime liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle’s solid rocket boosters separated as planned and the three main engines are now powering the shuttle during its 8 1/2-minute climb.

Discovery Crew Members. Image by NASA

Discovery Crew Members. Image by NASA

We wish all seven astronauts a successful mission and a safe return to their loved ones.

We’ll post about the progress of their flight. You can also follow Astronaut Jose Hernandez bilingual tweets here.

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