The five-member crew of Atlantis will spend its fifth day in space working with the Expedition Two crew aboard the International Space Station to continue the activation of the station's new airlock, named Quest.
Today's work will include testing nitrogen and oxygen lines that will be used during future shuttle missions to replenish the airlock's tanks of high-pressure oxygen and nitrogen; testing the airlock's space walk equipment; and installing valves that will connect Quest to the station's environmental control system. In addition to checking and activating Quest's systems, the crews will remove the motor controllers from the airlock's berthing mechanism, which are no longer needed now that the airlock is firmly attached to the station.
The shuttle crew's day began at 4:04 p.m. with a wake-up call from Mission Control playing the song "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley for Mission Specialist Mike Gernhardt. On board the space station, Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms awoke at 5:04 p.m.
After the airlock was attached to the station early Sunday morning, and the first part of its checkout was completed, the shuttle and station crews held a ribbon cutting for the new addition. Station Commander Yury Usachev and Atlantis Commander Steve Lindsey cut a white ribbon that had been strung across the entrance of Quest's crew lock. Lindsey and Usachev made two cuts to the ribbon, each on either side of the word Quest to christen the new compartment. This evening's checkout of Quest will help prepare for the mission's third space walk, scheduled for Thursday evening. That space walk, during which two air tanks will be installed on Quest, will be the first to originate from the new airlock.
Yesterday, a decision was made to bring home a spare space suit aboard Atlantis that had experienced a leaking battery. Controllers were worried that the leaking battery may have damaged portions of the suit and decided to bring the suit home for inspection and cleaning. The originial plan had been to leave the suit aboard the station for use by future crews.
All systems continue to function normally aboard both the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station. Later this evening, a little after 8 p.m., the shuttle's engines will be used to perform an hour-long reboost of the station's altitude.
The next mission status report will be issued about 6 a.m. Monday or as events warrant.
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