Discovery's astronauts were awakened shortly after 4 a.m. Central time to the sounds of "Big Boy Toys", a country and western tune by Aaron Tippin, selected for Pilot Rick Sturckow by his wife.
The wakeup call began a day that will focus on preparations for the first of two space walks by Mission Specialists Dan Barry and Pat Forrester on Thursday, while members of the International Space Station Expedition Two crew will continue the handover of station operations to their Expedition Three replacements.
The crews also have time scheduled for logistical activities, including the transfer of more equipment and supplies from Discovery to the station and the transfer of discarded station equipment to Leonardo, the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, which was installed on the station on Monday. The 7,000 pounds of material carried into space aboard Leonardo, including two scientific experiment racks for the U.S. Laboratory Destiny, has been unloaded.
Sturckow will assist Barry and Forrester as they checkout their spacesuits and space walking tools for their planned 6½-hour excursion outside Discovery tomorrow. During the space walk, Barry and Forrester will install the Early Ammonia Servicer on the station's P6 truss structure. It contains spare ammonia that could be used in the station's cooling system should the need arise. They will also attach an experiment to the station to expose samples of engineering materials to the space environment. The samples will be returned to Earth for analysis in about a year.
A second space walk will be conducted by Barry and Forrester Saturday to hook up heater cables for a truss structure which will be delivered to the station next year.
Hatches between Discovery and the station will swing shut around 4:30 Central time this afternoon in advance of tomorrow's space walk
Earlier today, Russian flight controllers successfully completed the reloading of upgraded software into the computers of the Zvezda Service Module in preparation for next month's arrival of a new module to the station -- the Russian Docking Compartment -- which will serve as a new docking port for visiting Russian vehicles.
Additionally, everything remains on schedule for the launch next week of a new unmanned Progress resupply vehicle to the station, carrying more supplies and hardware for the new Expedition Three crew. The Progress will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday and will link up to the station on Aug. 23.
Discovery and the station are orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes at an average altitude of 244 statute miles with no systems issues being worked by the flight control team. The next status report will be issued around 6 p.m., or earlier, if events warrant.
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