Skip to main content

Herrington's mission schedule

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Assuming acceptable weather at the launch site and emergency landing fields and cooperation from the hardware, here's the flight plan for Herrington's mission.

Flight Day 1 - Launch. Remove the orange launch and entry suits, fold up the mission specialist seats and reconfigure the shuttle from a rocket ship into a space ship. Get a meal, watch how the rookies marvel at their first experiences in space, and go to bed, just six hours after launch.

Flight Day 2 - Check out the shuttle's robot arm and spacesuits. Make at least one and possibly more rendezvous burns to catch up with the space station.

Flight Day 3 - Dock to the International Space Station. Greetings and hugs from the folks living on the space station, followed by a safety briefing. Transfer over the critical equipment for the new long-duration crew.

Flight Day 4 - The big day for everybody. John Herrington and Mike Lopez-Alegria exercise while breathing pure oxygen to purge nitrogen out of their bloodstreams. Pilot Paul Lockhart assists them into their spacesuits. Meanwhile Commander Jim Wetherbee and incoming space station astronaut Ken Bowersox use the shuttle's robot arm to lift the 14.5-ton P1 Truss out of the shuttle's cargo bay. Astronaut Peggy Whitson, already living on the space station, and Don Pettit, her replacement, operate the space station's robot arm and take the handoff of the P1 Truss as if it were a giant baton. Just after Whitson and Pettit dock the P1 Truss to the space station, Herrington and Lopez-Alegria should be ready to start the first of the mission's three 6.5-hour spacewalks to finish attaching the P1 to the space station.

Flight Day 5 - An 'inside' day to transfer equipment back and forth between the space station and space shuttle and for the new crew to install and check out their rescue equipment, just in case they have to abandon the space station.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Flight Day 6 - The second spacewalk. The highlight of this spacewalk will come when Herrington lifts up the 600-pound CETA (Crew Equipment and Translation Aid) cart in his hands and Pettit uses the space station robot arm to swing Herrington through a 180-degree arc from one side of the space station to the opposite side.

Flight Day 7 - If the shuttle launches on Nov. 22, this will be Thanksgiving. Another day inside the space station with more transfers and more hand - over activities from the old crew to the new crew. Also the formal hand-over and crew press conference.

Flight Day 8 - The third and final planned spacewalk for the mission.

Flight Day 9 - A final inside day with more transfers and wrap-up activities.

Flight Day 10 - The farewell ceremony and the shuttle undocks from the space station. Commander Jim Wetherbee will certainly be counting noses to make sure that he's got the proper people on his side when the hatches are shut.

Flight Day 11 - Check out the shuttle's thrusters, rudder, and elevons for the trip home. Reconfigure the shuttle from space ship into high-speed glider. The orange launch and entry suits are taken out of storage and the seats are reinstalled.

Flight Day 12 - Weather-permitting, an afternoon landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.