The space shuttle Endeavour and its crew of seven astronauts flew a 16-day mission to the International Space Station in July 2009 on a marathon flight to complete the outpost?s Japanese laboratory.

STS-127 Mission Elapsed Time
Endeavour launched July 15 under the command of veteran spaceflyer Mark Polansky, who led his crew through five spacewalks to add a new experiment porch to Japan?s Kibo lab and upgrade the station.

Below is SPACE.com?s special report archive of stories from Endeavour?s STS-128 mission. Stories appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent updates first. This page was updated on Aug. 21, 2009.


At Home on Earth

Shuttle Endeavour Lands Safely in Florida
HOUSTON - Space shuttle Endeavour touched down in Florida on Friday morning, bringing to an end a successful 16-day mission to complete Japan's Kibo science laboratory at the International Space Station (ISS).

Space Shuttle Endeavour to Land Today
The seven astronauts aboard the shuttle Endeavour are hoping for clear skies over Florida today as they prepare to land after a marathon flight to the International Space Station.

Shuttle Astronauts Deploy Satellites Ahead of Landing
Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour successfully deployed two sets of tiny satellites Thursday as they received word they were cleared to come home.

Great Lakes Water Returning to Earth with Shuttle Crew
Before undocking from the International Space Station Tuesday, the crew aboard the shuttle Endeavour transferred nearly 1,200 pounds of water to the orbiting outpost. But one crewmember kept a small, but very special, set of water samples for the ride home.

Japanese Space Underwear Keeps Stink Out
A set of high-tech Japanese underwear has passed the ultimate smell test in space.

Japanese Astronaut Craves Sushi
After more than four months in space, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata is eagerly looking forward to the taste of fresh sushi and other comfort foods when he returns to Earth Friday aboard the shuttle Endeavour.

Astronauts Scan Space Shuttle Heat Shield For Dings
Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour took one last look at their spacecraft's heat shield Wednesday to hunt for any new damage sustained on its marathon flight to the International Space Station.

Shuttle Endeavour Undocks From Space Station
The space shuttle Endeavour cast off from the International Space Station Tuesday after a whirlwind 11 days of construction work at the orbiting laboratory.

Shuttle Astronauts Set to Leave Space Station
The 13 people aboard the International Space Station will say their farewells and split up Tuesday when the crew of the shuttle Endeavour undocks from the orbiting laboratory.

Construction Success

Sleeping in Space is Easy, But There's No Shower
Astronauts may have some tough jobs in orbit - like building a $100 billion International Space Station - but apparently getting a good night's sleep isn't one of them.

Spacewalkers Wrap Up Space Station Service Call
Two astronauts wrapped up some final maintenance work on the International Space Station Monday during the fifth and last planned spacewalk of their mission to the orbital lab.

Astronauts to Take Fifth Spacewalk at Space Station
Two astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station Monday to tackle some final tasks in the fifth and last spacewalk of their mission to the orbiting laboratory.

Crowded Space Station Has International Flair, Astronaut Says
The International Space Station may feel a bit crowded with 13 people aboard, but the population boost has also given it a multicultural flair, an astronaut said Sunday.

NASA Revives Air-Scrubbing System on Space Station
NASA engineers have revived a vital air-scrubbing system on the International Space Station and are hunting for the source of the glitch that sent it offline.

Astronauts Pack Up Japanese Cargo Carrier
Astronauts on the International Space Station will get back to work Sunday after a much needed day off in order to retrieve a Japanese cargo carrier from the outpost's brand new experiment porch.

For 13 Astronauts, a Day Off in Space
The 13 people living on the International Space Station took some hard-earned time off Saturday, a welcome relief after a hectic week of orbital construction.

Spacewalkers Add New Batteries to Space Station
Two determined astronauts added a fresh set of vital batteries on the International Space Station Friday during an extra-long spacewalk made more so by the need to take things slow and steady.

Astronauts to Replace More Aging Batteries in Spacewalk
Two astronauts will head out on an extra-long spacewalk Friday to make up for lost time after a spacesuit glitch waylaid efforts to replace old space station batteries earlier this week.

Space Station?s Japanese Lab Complete

Japanese Experiments Moved to Space Station
It was a banner day for Japan at the International Space Station Thursday, where astronauts successfully installed a set of experiments on a brand new porch on the end of the outpost's massive Japanese laboratory.

NASA Replans Spacewalks For Shuttle Astronauts
NASA is reworking plans for the last two spacewalks for astronauts visiting the International Space Station as the outpost's crew prepares to add the first experiments to the orbiting lab's new Japanese porch today.

With Spacesuit Glitches, NASA Takes No Chances
When an unexpected glitch pops up in an astronaut's spacesuit during a spacewalk, NASA takes no chances. If it looks like a problem, it's time to call it quits.

Astronauts to Change Space Batteries in Spacewalk
Two astronauts will head outside the International Space Station Wednesday to begin the delicate task of replacing old batteries at the very edge of the orbital outpost.

What Happens If You Sneeze in Space?
Sneezes can pack a wallop on Earth, but for an astronaut in a spacesuit they can also make a mess of things, a veteran spacewalker said Tuesday.

Astronauts Tackle Tricky Crane Work in Space
Astronauts used two space cranes to attach a Japanese experiment carrier to the International Space Station's new porch Tuesday so its vital cargo can be delivered later this week.

Astronauts Mark Apollo 11 Anniversary With Spacewalk
Two spacewalking astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station Monday to stock the outpost with vital spare parts on a day that, 40 years ago, saw the first-ever moon landing by people from Earth.

Astronaut Plumber Fixes Broken Space Toilet
The 13 people aboard the crowded International Space Station can breathe a bit easier now that some astronaut plumbers have fixed a broken zero gravity toilet.

Astronauts to Mark Apollo Moon Landing With Spacewalk
Astronauts will unload some spare parts for the International Space Station Monday in a spacewalk that comes 40 years to the day of the first moon landing by men from Earth.

Space construction at ISS

Astronauts Unload Spare Parts Platform At Space Station
Astronauts on the International Space Station performed complex robotic maneuvers Sunday to unload a new spare parts container from the shuttle Endeavour.

Astronauts To Perform Complex Robotic Work
Astronauts on the International Space Station are taking a break from spacewalking to perform some complex robotic maneuvers Sunday.

No Focused Inspection Needed For Shuttle Heat Shield, NASA Says
NASA decided the space shuttle Endeavour does not need a focused inspection of its heat shield to make sure it's safe to return home.

Astronauts Add Porch to Space Station
Spacewalkers and robotic arm operators attached the final piece of the International Space Station's Japanese Kibo laboratory - an exposed platform for science experiments.

Space Station Toilet Troubled
One of two toilets on the International Space Station is apparently broken, NASA announced Sunday.

Shuttle Astronauts Gear Up for First Spacewalk
Astronauts are gearing up for a spacewalk Saturday to prepare a new Japanese research porch to be installed on the space station.

Historic Docking: 13 People on ISS

Space Station Population Hits Record High
The International Space Station is now more crowded than it's ever been before, with a record number of 13 people onboard.

Space Station, Shuttle Dodge Space Junk
The space shuttle Endeavour fired its thrusters late Friday just hours after linking up with the International Space Station in order to move the outpost clear of a piece of orbital junk.

Shuttle Endeavour Arrives at Space Station
The long-awaited crew of the space shuttle Endeavour finally arrived at the International Space Station Friday to begin a two-week construction visit.

Shuttle Endeavour Closes in on Space Station
The space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-astronaut crew plan to arrive at the International Space Station Friday for a long-awaited visit more than a month overdue.

NASA Weighs Heat Shield Dings on Shuttle
NASA is not too worried about debris that appeared to fall from the space shuttle Endeavour's external fuel tank during its liftoff Wednesday, but is perplexed about why the bits of foam insulation fell from an unexpected spot.

5 Shuttle Launch Scrubs Cost Millions
The repeated launch delays for the space shuttle Endeavour were not just frustrating, but expensive.

Endeavour Astronauts Inspect Shuttle Heat Shield
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour will scan their orbiter's heat shield on Thursday to search for any damage from debris that fell from the spacecraft's external tank during its launch into orbit.

NASA Eyes Debris Hits to Shuttle Heat Shield
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Better late than never. NASA celebrated the tardy launch of the space shuttle Endeavour late Wednesday and is looking into several bits of debris spotted during the spacecraft's liftoff.

Shuttle Endeavour Blasts Off Toward Space Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour finally beat the weather late Wednesday as it blasted off on an ambitious, if belated, construction mission to the International Space Station after five frustrating delays.

Launch Delay Woes

Space Shuttle Poised for Sixth Launch Attempt Today
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA is hoping the sixth time is the charm for the space shuttle Endeavour, which is poised to make yet another launch attempt late Wednesday after repeated delays.

Astronauts Take a Break From Shuttle Launch Delays
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Astronauts have a reputation for their super-human commitment to a mission, but even spaceflyers like the shuttle Endeavor's crew need a break once in a while - especially after the  trying ordeal of five launch scrubs.

NASA Prepares Shuttle For Sixth Launch Attempt
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After a string of vexing delays, NASA is once more preparing the space shuttle Endeavour for what will be its sixth launch attempt late Wednesday.

The History of Shuttle Launch Delays
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's latest launch delay for the space shuttle Endeavour on Monday marked the fifth failed attempt to get the beleaguered mission off the ground. The tally may seem high, but it is not the record for the most vexed shuttle flight.

Stormy Weather Delays Space Shuttle Launch Again
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Stormy weather again foiled NASA's plans to launch the space shuttle Endeavour late Monday, the fifth setback for the delay-plagued mission.

Shuttle Launch Today Depends on No Rain
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA is trying yet again to launch the space shuttle Endeavour Monday, despite a good chance of rain showers that threaten to delay the mission for a potential fifth time.

NASA to Try For Monday Space Shuttle Launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA aims to give the space shuttle Endeavour a fifth shot at launching into orbit today after being waylaid by a series of unfortunate events for more than a month.

Thunderstorms Delay Space Shuttle Launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA abandoned plans to launch the space shuttle Endeavour for the fourth time in a row on Sunday, this time because of stormy weather that crept too close to an emergency runway.

Shuttle Endeavour "Go" For Launch Today
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour is "Go" to launch today, NASA said, after ground crews found no signs of damage from a lightning strike on Friday.

Why Lightning Struck the Shuttle Launch Pad
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. ? The lightning that thwarted today's planned launch of the space shuttle Endeavour is a familiar problem for NASA's shuttle fleet.

NASA Delays Shuttle Launch To Investigate Possible Lightning Damage
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The oft-delayed space shuttle Endeavour will have to wait at least one more day to launch while NASA investigates whether lightning strikes near the launch pad yesterday caused any damage.

Shuttle Endeavour to Make Third Launch Try Today
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After a month of delays, the beleaguered space shuttle Endeavour is aiming to lift off tonight toward the International Space Station, but only if the weather cooperates.

Final Countdown: A Guide to NASA's Last Space Shuttle Missions
The planned Saturday evening launch of the space shuttle Endeavour may be the third orbiter flight this year, but it is one of just eight remaining missions before NASA mothballs its space plane fleet next year.

NASA Clears Shuttle Endeavour for Saturday Launch
NASA has officially cleared the space shuttle Endeavour for its third launch attempt on Saturday, with the chance of thunderstorms posing the only threat to the mission after nearly a month of delays.

Weather Still Iffy for Saturday Shuttle Launch
After weeks of repair work to plug a hydrogen leak on the space shuttle Endeavour, NASA is now watching the weather for the spacecraft's planned Saturday launch.

Stormy Weather May Delay Shuttle Launch
NASA's space shuttle Endeavour is ready for its planned launch into orbit this weekend, though stormy weather could delay liftoff, mission managers said Wednesday.

Shuttle Astronauts Arrive at Spaceport for Saturday Launch
The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour arrived at NASA's Florida spaceport on Tuesday to prepare for a planned weekend blast off after nearly a month of delays.

Space Shuttle to Launch July 11 After Successful Leak Test
NASA will try to launch the space shuttle Endeavour on July 11, nearly a month late, after plugging a potentially dangerous hydrogen gas leak, top mission managers said Wednesday.

NASA Performs Critical Space Shuttle Fueling Test
NASA fueled the space shuttle Endeavour early Wednesday in an apparently successful test of repairs aimed at eliminating a potentially dangerous hydrogen gas leak.

NASA to Check Space Shuttle Fix With Fueling Test
NASA will fuel up the space shuttle Endeavour's massive external tank next week to check repairs aimed at stopping a hydrogen gas leak that has twice delayed the spacecraft's launch.

Source of Space Shuttle Gas Leak Pinpointed
CAPE CANAVERAL -- NASA engineers think they have pinpointed the cause of dangerous hydrogen leaks that prompted back-to-back launch scrubs for shuttle Endeavour, and they plan to conduct a fuel-loading test by the first of July.

NASA Does Not Suspect Sabotage on Shuttle
NASA does not suspect sabotage was behind the glitch that twice delayed the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour recently.

Astronauts Adopt Alligator as Mascot
The space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission could use some luck from its mascot.

Gas Leak Hunt

Gas Leak Prevents Space Shuttle Launch Again
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour's launch plans were thwarted again early Wednesday when a hydrogen gas leak, the same glitch that stopped the spacecraft from lifting off last week, appeared for a second time.

Space Shuttle Endeavour Poised to Launch Wednesday
The space shuttle Endeavour is once more poised to launch into orbit early Wednesday after a four-day delay caused by a hydrogen gas leak.

500th Person to Space Launching on Shuttle Endeavour
Among the seven astronauts launching on space shuttle Endeavour on Saturday, four are making their first flight, an achievement in any astronaut's career. One of those four, however, will also be setting a benchmark as the 500th person in history to fly into space.

Swing Shift: Astronauts Redefine Night and Day
Seven astronauts have snoozed away the days before their planned launch aboard the space shuttle Endeavour, but it is all part of their plan for an overnight mission so extreme that one spaceflyer dubbed it a "stealth flight."

NASA Delays Moon Mission for Wednesday Shuttle Launch
NASA has delayed a high-priority moon mission to make way for the space shuttle Endeavour to launch Wednesday.

NASA Hopes to Launch Shuttle Endeavour on Wednesday
NASA will try to squeeze in a launch attempt for the space shuttle Endeavour on Wednesday, just days ahead of a different rocket also set to send two unmanned probes to the moon this week, mission managers said Sunday.

Gas Leak Thwarts Space Shuttle Launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-astronaut crew will have to wait through at least four days of delay before launching toward the International Space Station after a gas leak thwarted their planned Saturday morning liftoff.

Launching Saturday: Shuttle Endeavour Headed for Space Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Seven astronauts are set to blast off on the space shuttle Endeavour Saturday morning on an ambitious mission bound for the International Space Station.

Japanese Space Porch Headed for Space

Space Station Headed for Population Explosion
The fully staffed International Space Station is about to get even more crowded when seven shuttle astronauts join the six men already aboard, boosting the number of people aboard to 13 - its highest population ever.

Shuttle Endeavour Cleared for Saturday Launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour is "go" to launch an ambitious mission to the International Space Station on Saturday, NASA managers said today.

NASA Targets June 13 Launch for Shuttle Endeavour
NASA's space shuttle Endeavour is officially set to blast off toward the International Space Station on June 13 to finish work on the $100 billion outpost's massive Japanese lab.

Japanese Space Porch to Fly on Shuttle Endeavour
The International Space Station's Kibo laboratory is about to get a new porch, the last big piece of the outpost's already massive Japanese-built segment.

Weather Looks Pristine for Saturday Shuttle Launch
NASA has begun counting down to the planned Saturday morning launch of the space shuttle Endeavour and is expecting pristine weather conditions for blast off.

Shuttle Endeavour on Track for Saturday Launch
NASA's shuttle Endeavour is on track for a planned weekend launch toward the International Space Station, mission managers said Tuesday.

Astronauts Gear Up for Space Construction Marathon
Seven astronauts are gearing up for what they expect to be a grueling orbital construction mission to the International Space Station this week aboard the shuttle Endeavour.

NASA Targets June 13 Launch for Shuttle Endeavour
NASA's space shuttle Endeavour is officially set to blast off toward the International Space Station on June 13 to finish work on the $100 billion outpost's massive Japanese lab.

Shuttle Endeavour Moves to Launch Pad for June Mission
The space shuttle Endeavour rolled from one Florida launch pad to another on Sunday in preparation for a complicated June construction flight to the International Space Station.

Docking Boosts Space Station's Population to Full Size of 6
Welcome to the International Space Station, Population: 6. The space station finally reached its full crew size early Friday when three new spaceflyers arrived to double the number of people aboard after more than 10 years of construction in orbit.

NASA: Next Space Shuttle Launch May Be Delayed
WASHINGTON - Fresh on the heels of a successful flight to the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA is again gearing up to launch a space shuttle into orbit, but bad weather could delay the June spaceflight, mission managers said Thursday.

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