Space shuttle Discovery now docked

On Saturday at 2:14 p.m. EST, Commander Steve Lindsey backed space shuttle Discovery into pressurized mating adapter #2 on the International Space Station’s Harmony node.

The two spacecraft were flying about 220 miles above western Australia at the time they docked.

Discovery was the first space shuttle to dock to a space station when it docked to Russia’s Mir station on mission STS-91 on June 4, 1998. Discovery also was the first shuttle to dock to the International Space Station on STS-96 on May 29, 1999. This was Discovery’s 13th and final docking to the space station.

The shuttle and station crews will open hatches and hold the traditional welcome ceremony at about 4:18 p.m. Discovery’s crew of Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe, and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Mike Barratt and Nicole Stott will join Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka, Alexander Kaleri, Dmitry Kondratyev, Paolo Nespoli, and Cady Coleman.

After the ceremony and a safety briefing, the crews will begin transferring cargo from Discovery to the station. Drew, Boe, Barratt and Stott will use the shuttle and station robotic arms to remove the Express Logistics Carrier 4 from the shuttle payload bay and attach it to the right hand side of the station’s truss, or backbone. There, it will be used to store spare parts, including the spare radiator that launched with it.

More STS-131 news and info at www.nasa.gov

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