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Astronauts In Home Stretch Of STS-128 Mission

September 7, 2009

The 13 crew members aboard space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station completed final transfer work between the two spacecraft Sunday in preparation for Monday afternoon’s scheduled return of the high-tech moving van “Leonardo” back to the orbiter’s payload bay.

With Leonardo packed with items for return to Earth, the crew planned to spend some free time together Sunday evening before Monday’s careful return of the Italian-built logistics module to Discovery for return home and refurbishment before it is used again to deliver more supplies to the station.

With seven days of docked operations behind them, the astronauts and cosmonauts will say their goodbyes and close the hatches Monday about 10:30 p.m. EDT.

Image Caption: A photo of the International Space Station taken by a spacewalking astronaut during the third and final spacewalk of STS-128. Credit: NASA 

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