STS -127 (English Space Transportation System) is a term for a flight mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour ( OV -105 ) from NASA.

The launch took place on 15 July 2009, after it came to start demolition on 13 and 17 June and on 11, 12 and 13 July 2009 due to problems with a valve and bad weather.

The mission STS -127 brought an experiment and a logistics platform (Japanese Experiment Module - Exposed Facility ( JEM EF) and Japanese Experiment Logistics Module - Exposed Section ( ELM -ES )) of the Japanese Kibo module to the International Space Station and completed so that the Japanese part of the station. Moreover, even had a cargo carrier (ICC - VLD) on board, were mounted on the spare parts for the ISS. After visiting the station satellite experiments DRAGONSat and ANDE -2 were exposed.

  • 2.1 start-up delays
  • 3.1 Start, Rendezvous and coupling
  • 3.2 Work on the ISS
  • 3.3 satellite launcher and return
  • 6.1 Notes and references


  • Mark Polansky ( third space flight), Commander
  • Douglas Hurley ( first space flight), Pilot
  • Christopher Cassidy ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Thomas Marshburn ( first space flight), Mission Specialist
  • David Wolf (4th space flight), Mission Specialist
  • Julie Payette ( second space flight ), Mission Specialist (CSA / Canada)

ISS crew Departure

ISS Expedition 20

  • Timothy Kopra ( first space flight), flight engineer

ISS crew return

ISS Expedition 19

  • Koichi Wakata ( third space flight), flight engineer ( JAXA / Japan)


On 24 September 2008, the relevant components of Kibo segment were delivered at the Kennedy Space Center and then stored there. In early February began with the installation of solid fuel rockets, a little later, the outer tank was mounted between them. The Endeavour was transferred on 10 April to the VAB and placed over the Easter weekend on the external tank. On April 17, it was then rolled in preparation for a possible STS -400 mission to the launch base 39B. She remained there until STS -125 had landed. On May 31, she went through the last Roll Around the Shuttle History, which ended all shuttle activity on Starting System B. During the Flight Readiness Reviews on June 3, June 13 was confirmed as the first available date. At the same time test found the Terminal Countdown Demonstration held, in which the crew dealt with the ground equipment for evacuation. Then flew back to Houston, and returned on the night of 8 June 9 (local time) to Cape. The countdown has started a day later.

Start-up delays

The originally planned for June 13th on the grid had to be stopped during refueling because a leak had occurred at the degassing of the hydrogen outer tanks that made there rise above the maximum tolerable because of the fire risk level of 4 %, the concentration of hydrogen. Because this problem had occurred already during the first launch attempt of STS -119 just a few months ago, it was assumed that resolve problems more quickly and can take a test again on June 17.

In the days following the same method as used for STS -119 was applied and replaced the connecting plate. While refueling on June 16, however, it turned out that this was the problem this time is not solved because the leak occurred again. So the start was again exposed and could be effected on July 11, as the ISS from 6 to 10 July in a " beta cutout " is. She is constantly exposed to the sun, causing the shuttle would overheat.

The cause of the leak is a wrong built-in valve in the outer tank turned out so successfully a tank test with the modified seal could be carried out on 1 July 2009. Then we started getting ready for the launch. The crew arrived on July 7, again at the launch site a, the next day ran to the countdown.

On July 10, walked down a heavy, but typical for this time of year in Florida severe weather over Cape Canaveral. During the storm, the lightning rod of the launch pad was hit in addition to the space shuttle, but no apparent damage incurred, and the countdown continued normally. Overall, there was eleven strikes in a radius of around 600 meters. Seven of these strikes hit buildings on the starting system. That same day, the platform for the payload bay was moved away. Shortly before refueling the launch attempt was aborted, however, to have more time to look through the data of the storm. There are no grounds in these studies were found that required a re postponement of the launch, so launching attempt was made on July 12. However, bad weather led to a new shift of 24 hours. The next test should be performed on July 13 at 22:51 UTC. In this experiment, however, an additional weather rule should be necessary, which prohibits a start in the rain on the starting system. This was necessary because one of the covers of the thrusters had been partially solved. If water gets in it, it would freeze and can make the nozzle incapacitated. While it did not come to rain on the plant, however, were other weather rules a start again in the way. Since the weather conditions on the following day would not be better and you wanted to replace the cover of the nozzle, it was decided for a 48 -hour shift.

Mission History

Start, Rendezvous and coupling

On Wednesday evening, 15 July, succeeded the launch of the Space Shuttle in the sixth starting at 22:03 UTC. Two minutes after launch, the boosters were dropped off after six more minutes the engines and separated the tank. In addition to several thruster firings and the robot was activated and prepared for the inspections on the following day in the course of the day.

On the second flight day inspection of the sensitive parts of the heat shield was in order. By means of the orbiter boom sensor system examined is the "nose" and the front wing edges of the space shuttle for damage. The video evaluation of the launch showed any small irregularities in some heat protection tiles on by falling foam pieces of the tank insulation. In addition, we prepared the space suits before the five exits and began to activate devices for docking. On the third flight day one approached the station and began the rendezvous. Before the actual coupling, the Endeavour led by the Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver, while the ISS crew photos anfertigte from the lower heat shield, so that these could be examined for damage. At 17:47 UTC was a pairing, about two hours later, after opening the hatches, 13 people for the first time were simultaneously on the ISS. One of the first tasks of the specially adapted by Koichi Wakata Sojussitz was exchanged for that of Timothy Kopra. At 21:22 UTC, the change was officially completed, so now Wakata belong to STS- 127 and copra to the ISS Expedition 20. In addition, the preparations began on the first exit by David Wolf and Tim Kopra went into the airlock Quest for Campout.

Work on the ISS

On the fourth flight day (18 July ), work began on installing the outdoor facilities of the Kibo module. With the Canadarm2 the station, controlled by Doug Hurley and Koichi Wakata, the outer platform (JEM EF) from the cargo bay of Endeavour was moved and transferred to the robotic arm of the shuttle, which was used by Mark Polansky and Julie Payette. After the robot arm of the station was moved to the mounting position, he again took over the platform from Shuttlearm to then ultimately at the Laboratory Module (PM ) to attach. Wolf and Kopra began the first EVA at 16:19 UTC when they switched the spacesuits to internal power. They prepared the coupling mechanisms of laboratory module and outer platform in front for docking. Furthermore, they succeeded with a special tool the coupling point for external payloads ( UCCAS ) at the P3 lattice structure unfold. This had hooked during STS -119. Despite the radio problems all primary tasks were completed after 5 hours and 32 minutes and the outboard activities ended 21:51 UTC. Early in the mission day informed the mission control crew on the good condition of the heat shield of the Endeavour, so no in-depth inspection is necessary.

On the fifth mission day (19 July ) took place no external activities. Since you did not need any further inspection of the shuttle heat shield, the crew was able to spend additional time for the transhipment of supplies and equipment from the shuttle to the station. Furthermore, it was with the help of the robotic arms of the Endeavour (controlled by Mark Polansky and Doug Hurley ) and the ISS (Julie Payette and Tim Kopra ) of the Integrated Cargo carrier (ICC - VLD) from the shuttle cargo bay brought to the mobile base system of Stationsarms, where he was temporarily attached. This allowed Dave Wolf and Tom Marshburn to transfer the mounted on the ICC - VLD spare parts during the next EVA storage platform for ESP -3 at Station Boom P3. Wolf and Marshburn spent the rest of their day in order to prepare the special tools to examine the steps and begin the campout in the Quest airlock. Meanwhile, the toilet fell out in the Destiny module, the Waste and Hygiene Compartment ( WHC ). Mike Barratt and Frank De Winne then began to exchange soiled items. However, the failure of the WHCs has no consequences for the mission, because a similar system available on the Endeavour and the plants in the Russian Zvezda module.

The sixth mission day (July 20 ) was marked by the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing of Apollo 11 to the second spacewalk Dave Wolf and Tom Marshburn left the Quest airlock at 15:27 UTC. Wolf removed a Ku-band space -to-ground antenna, a pump module and a linear actuator from the ICC - VLD and rode on the Stationsarm controlled by Julie Payette and Doug Hurley, each with a component in hand to ESP -3 at Station Boom P3. There, the two astronauts attached the spare parts for longer storage. Marshburn also attached a handle to an ammonia tank, so that it could be moved during the mission STS -128. He also brought in two sheaths at the external connectors of the Station -to- Shuttle Power Transfer System. The installation of a video camera Kibōs was postponed. The EVA ended after 6 hours and 53 minutes 22:20 UTC. The defective toilet could be repaired in the meantime by ISS Commander Padalka and De Winne.

Flight day seven (July 21 ) was used to install the Japanese Logistics Module (ELM -ES ) to Kibōs " Veranda" (JEM EF). Mark Polansky and Julie Payette handed over the range using the shuttle robotic arm to Koichi Wakata and Doug Hurley, who attended the ISS robotic arm. At 14:30 UTC, the installation of the logistics palette has been completed. The experiments of this range were then removed on 23 July with the help of Kibōs robotic arm and attached to Kibōs porch. The astronauts Dave Wolf and Chris Cassidy prepared their spacesuits before their use the next day. The night the two spent the campout in the airlock, to adapt to the upcoming outdoor use. Meanwhile remained for Polansky, Hurley, Payette and Wolf time to answer questions that were asked of visitors to YouTube and Twitter.

The third exit with Dave Wolf and Chris Cassidy began on the eighth day (22 July ) at 14:32 UTC. First, insulation blankets were removed from the Kibo module and prepared the Kibo logistics module to unload the next day. The cargo carrier (ICC - VLD) with the six spare batteries had been brought by Doug Hurley and Julie Payette using the Stationsroboterarms to work on solar power plant P6. The two astronauts were there to replace the first four batteries. After two batteries newly installed EVA but had to be canceled because due to a defective CO2 absorber in Cassidy's suit the carbon dioxide content increased inadmissible. Chris Cassidy, however, was in no immediate danger, but the EVA was terminated as a precaution 20:31 UTC after 5 hours and 59 minutes. However, the installation of the first two batteries could be fully completed, attaching the remaining four was now planned for the next EVA on 24 July.

On the ninth mission day (July 23 ) was the first use of Kibōs robot arm. Members of both crews took turns to transfer the equipment from the Logistics Module (ELM -ES) to the experimental platform ( EF) and install there the side. The work dragged on a bit since the robot arm moved faster than expected and was therefore switched to a slower manual mode. The three experiments are: Monitor of All -sky X -ray Image ( MAXI ), a monitoring of the entire sky in X-rays, Inter -orbit Communication System (ICS ), an independent link between Kibo and the Tsukuba Space Center in Japan, and Space Environment data Acquisition Equipment - Attached payload ( SEDA -AP), a sensor in an attached payload for the extraction of data from the space environment of the ISS. The crew was preparing the spacesuits and tools and went through the revised corporate processes for the fourth outdoor use. Cassidy and Marshburn spent the night back in the air lock to the campout in order to adapt to the conditions of the next outdoor use.

On flight day ten (24 July ) four of replacing the batteries on P6 by Cassidy and Marshburn was completed in EVA. These were in use since 2000 and had lost its capacity. Outdoor use lasted seven hours and twelve minutes. Meanwhile Koichi Wakata and Julie Payette moved using the Stationsarms ( Canadarm2 ) the cargo pallet (ICC - VLD) with the six old batteries to the shuttle. There fortified Doug Hurley and Mark Polansky the palette using the shuttle robotic arm own in the cargo bay of Endeavour.

After the eleventh -duty flight day (July 26 ) Kibōs was empty pallet logistics (ELM -ES) uncoupled and loaded in the shuttle on the twelfth day. This marked the robotic work of the mission to an end. Furthermore, it was transhipped equipment and cargo from the shuttle to the station. Meanwhile prepared Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn their spacesuits and tools on the next EVA before and went the scheduled work steps. In the following press conference press representatives of the participating nations of the combined crew of STS- 127 and ISS Expedition 20 could ask their questions.

Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy led by the fifth and last exit on 13 Mission Day (July 27 ), after they had again spent the night at the campout. While Marshburn a multi-layer insulation around Dextre reinforced Cassidy divided the circuits of two of the four gyroscopes of the station on a patch panel on the grid element Z1. Subsequently, the two front and rear of the assembled Kibōs outer platform (EF) video equipment, among other things, allows for the coupling of the Japanese HTV transporting cargo. Since the planned continue discharging the payload attachment system (PAS ) would have taken at station S3 boom for too long, the two were instructed to do other tasks that were planned for future field work. These included the mounting of cables and mounting by hand guides and a mobile foot brace to support later exits. The EVA ended after 4 hours and 54 minutes and completed the work of this mission to the outside of the Kibo laboratory.

The 14th flight day (July 28 ) was marked by the departure of the Endeavour from the space station. After the last transfer of frozen samples for scientific shuttle and a small farewell ceremony, the hatches between the spacecraft were closed. 17:26 UTC Endeavour docked after a total of 10 days, 23 hours and 39 minutes from the ISS on and moved away from her. Then flew Pilot Doug Hurley around the shuttle at a distance of about 120 meters around the station so the crew was able to document the progress photographically. After this maneuver, eventually the Space Shuttle 19:09 UTC distant final from the ISS. Meanwhile, the crew of the station was preparing for the arrival of Progress 34 Space Shuttle.

Satellite launcher and return

The 15th Day (July 29 ) spent the crew of the Space Shuttle with the late inspection of the heat shield with the OBSS, and with the first preparations for the return to Earth. Unnecessary and loose objects were stowed. For Koichi Wakata, a special reclining seat was set up to reduce the burden of the deceleration during re-entry after his five -month stay in weightlessness. After the tests, the control jets and wings hydraulics were exposed to two satellite pairs on the 16th flight day (July 30 ):

  • DRAGONSat (Dual RF Astro Dynamic GPS Satellite Orbital Navigator ), a demonstration satellite pair for autonomous rendezvous and docking maneuvers with GPS support, a joint project of Texas A & M University and the University of Texas at Austin.
  • ANDE -2 (Castor and Pollux, Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment), two externally identical spherical satellites with 0.5 m diameter and different masses ( 50 and 25 kg) for the study of density and composition of Earth's atmosphere below 335 km altitude. On August 18 and March 29, 2010 burned up the two satellites from which the active Castor could also be received by radio amateurs in the Earth's atmosphere.

Due to the favorable weather forecast for the first landing opportunity on July 31 at 14:48 UTC at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the payload bay doors were closed at 11:00 UTC. To prepare for the gravity, the astronauts took several liters of fluid (fluid loading ) on. 13:27 UTC, the crew got the release for deorbit burn. The brake ignition began at 13:41 UTC, slowing the shuttle by about 350 km / h, so it plunged into the denser layers of the atmosphere after nearly a half orbit of the earth. The landing took place at 14:48 UTC after 15 days, 16 hours and 44 minutes on track 15 of the Shuttle Landing Facility. Shortly thereafter secured a special convoy the space shuttle and helped the crew in getting off after it had shut down all the systems of the Space Shuttle. A few hours after putting the Endeavour was towed into its hangar, where it was prepared for its next mission, STS -130.