Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Shuttle Docks With Station

The International Space Station is seen from the centerline camera system inside space shuttle Discovery's orbiter docking system.

Space shuttle Discovery and the STS-131 crew docked with the International Space Station at 3:44 a.m. EDT Wednesday. After a series of leak checks between the vehicles the crew opened the hatches and joined Expedition 23 aboard the outpost at 5:11 a.m. Discovery is delivering new science racks and ammonia tanks. While there, two shuttle astronauts will perform three spacewalks to switch out ammonia tanks on the station.

Several “firsts” in the space business occurred with hatch opening: the first time four women have been aboard the same spacecraft during a mission and the first time two Japanese astronauts have been aboard the space station simultaneously.

For the latest news and information on the STS-131 mission, visit the main shuttle page.