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Discovery Set To Depart Station

September 8, 2009

The astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station and space shuttle Discovery have wrapped up their work in space together. The crews of the two spacecraft bid each other farewell and closed the hatches between them at 10:41 p.m. CDT.

With eight days of joint operations between the spacecraft complete, Discovery is scheduled to undock from the station at 2:26 p.m. Tuesday.

Today the crews completed the last major activity before undocking. They exited the Leonardo Multi-purpose Logistics Module, deactivated it and returned it to Discovery’s cargo bay using the station’s robotic arm. Pilot Kevin Ford and Mission Specialist Jose Hernandez operated the arm.

Leonardo is carrying about 2,400 pounds of equipment back to Earth. Discovery’s middeck is transporting about 860 pounds of return items.

Also returning to Earth aboard Discovery, Mission Specialist Tim Kopra bid his Expedition 20 crew mates farewell. Flight Engineer Nicole Stott has taken his place as a long-duration crew member aboard the station.

The shuttle crew is scheduled to go to sleep about 2 a.m. and wake up at 9:59 a.m. Tuesday.

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