Astronauts aboard the International Space Station earlier today completed final electrical installations in both the Zvezda and Zarya modules and transferred another station-based experiment to demonstrate control technologies to suppress unwanted vibrations.
Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko hooked up a third battery in the Zvezda module, bolstering its supply of power reservoirs. The module was launched in July with five of eight batteries installed to save weight. One of the newly installed batteries in Zvezda is not working properly and Russian flight controllers are investigating. Regardless, the station will have plenty of power to accommodate the needs of the first resident crew scheduled to arrive in early November.
Meanwhile, Mission Specialists Dan Burbank and Boris Morukov, removed and replaced a fourth battery and related equipment in the Zarya module, bringing its complement of six batteries back up to speed with fresh replacements.
Commander Terry Wilcutt and Pilot Scott Altman used Atlantis’ propulsion system to reboost the station’s orbit to an altitude of 236 by 225 statute miles (380 x 362 km) firing the jets 36 times over the course of an hour. The maneuver raised the stations orbit about 4 ½ miles (7 km). Two more altitude-raising burns are planned before the shuttle undocks Sunday.
Through it all, Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio oversaw the unpacking of Atlantis’ cargo hold and the Progress supply ship, moving all manner of equipment and supplies on board the station for the first crew. The crew also unpacked Russian-made Orlan space suits that will be used to perform space walks outside the station.
Another important item for those first residents was installed earlier today when Malenchenko moved the hardware and hoses for the station’s first toilet from the Progress to Zvezda. The unit’s waste tank and hose were installed. The task of activating the bathroom will be left to the Expedition One crew.
As of Noon Wednesday, the crew had transferred 1,900 pounds of hardware and supplies to the ISS. Total planned transfer from the shuttle and Progress is expected to be about 6,000 pounds.
Atlantis’ crew will turn in about 11 this morning and be awakened at 6:46 this evening and the next mission status report will be issued about 7 p.m. today or sooner if events warrant.
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