Electrical work was the hallmark of the day as four of the mission specialists aboard Atlantis and the International Space Station replaced batteries inside the Zarya and Zvezda modules while supply transfer continued around them.
To replace one component in Zarya, Mission Specialists Dan Burbank and Boris Morukov had to use a hammer and chisel to remove some rivets holding the floor bracket in place. They then were able to easily remove and replace the unit that controls the flow of current through the battery.
Burbank and Morukov’s battery work took care of the first of two Zarya module batteries and related equipment replacement scheduled for this mission. The second battery will be replaced Wednesday. The replacements will finish work begun in May when the STS-101 crew replaced the other four of the module batteries.
Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko installed three batteries and associated electrical equipment inside the Zvezda module. The newest space station component was launched in July with only five of its eight batteries in place to save weight.
In and around the battery work in Zvezda and Zarya, Commander Terry Wilcutt, Pilot Scott Altman and Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio transferred hardware and supplies from both Atlantis and the Russian Progress supply vehicle. That work will now extend to a full week after mission managers in Houston and Moscow granted the extra day to continue outfitting the station for its first resident crew scheduled to arrive in November.
Early this morning as his workday neared its end, Wilcutt, a native of Kentucky, took time to answer questions from reporters at three television stations in his home state.
The crew’s bedtime is about 11 this morning with the Flight Day 7 wake-up call scheduled for 6:46 p.m. today.
The next mission status report will be issued about 7 p.m. Wednesday or sooner if events warrant.
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