Space crews say goodbye, shuttle departing Tuesday

September 8, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

In this image made from video provided by NASA astronaut John "Danny" Olivas, STS-128 mission specialist, center left, shakes hands and thanks the commander of the space station Russia's Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Gennady Padalka before the hatches between the orbiting shuttle and station close Monday Sept. 7, 2009. The shuttle will undock Tuesday. (AP Photo/NASA)
(AP) -- The farewell hugs and handshakes are over. Now all that's left for the crews of the space shuttle and space station is the release of the docking latches.

Discovery will pull away from the Tuesday afternoon, ending a resupply visit that spanned just over a week. The shuttle will bring home seven astronauts and a Buzz Lightyear doll that was launched last year.

The hatches between the spacecraft were closed late Monday.

NASA, meanwhile, is eyeing another piece of , this one a Chinese satellite fragment that could come too close to the space station Wednesday. It's part of a satellite that was blasted by a missile in 2007. Officials say the outpost probably will not need to steer clear.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Discovery Separates From Space Station

Related Stories

Discovery Separates From Space Station

August 6, 2005

After more than a week of working together in space, the Space Shuttle Discovery and International Space Station crews bid each other farewell tonight. Space Shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station ...

NASA analyzing junk that could threaten astronauts

September 2, 2009

(AP) -- A piece of space junk was drifting toward the shuttle-station complex and its 13 astronauts Wednesday, though NASA officials said the threat would not delay an upcoming spacewalk.

Recommended for you

Can China keep it's climate promises?

March 26, 2019

China can easily meet its Paris climate pledge to peak its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, but sourcing 20 percent of its energy needs from renewables and nuclear power by that date may be considerably harder, researchers ...

What happened before the Big Bang?

March 26, 2019

A team of scientists has proposed a powerful new test for inflation, the theory that the universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second right after the Big Bang. Their goal is to give insight into ...

Cellular microRNA detection with miRacles

March 26, 2019

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding regulatory RNAs that can repress gene expression post-transcriptionally and are therefore increasingly used as biomarkers of disease. Detecting miRNAs can be arduous and expensive as ...

In the Tree of Life, youth has its advantages

March 26, 2019

It's a question that has captivated naturalists for centuries: Why have some groups of organisms enjoyed incredibly diversity—like fish, birds, insects—while others have contained only a few species—like humans.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.