The seven astronauts aboard the Atlantis-International Space Station will soon resume their transfer activities as they start their 5th day of docked operations inside the orbiting facility. As of the start of their workday today, approximately one third of the almost three tons of supplies and equipment have already been moved into the station.
Commander Terry Wilcutt, Pilot Scott Altman along with Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov were awakened shortly before 7 p.m. Central. The wake up song was "Haze Has Melted Away" by Konstantin Nikolsky's Group and was requested for Malenchenko by his wife.
Highlights of the day include the continuing transfer of equipment and supplies from Atlantis to the International Space Station and the organization and stowage of that gear inside the ISS. The 1,300 pounds of ISS gear aboard the Progress cargo spacecraft docked to the aft end of the Zvezda module already has been unloaded.
The Progress is beginning its second role, as a space garbage truck. It will be loaded with unneeded gear-packing material as an example-which will be incinerated with the vehicle during a fiery re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
Lu and Malenchenko will spend much of their day installing voltage and current stabilizers in the Zvezda Service Module. They also will install components of the Elektron system in Zvezda. That equipment, sent into orbit aboard the Progress, separates water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is vented overboard while the oxygen replenishes the air in the ISS. The system will not be activated until after arrival of the first station crew.
The third in a series of RCS jet firings to gently raise the station's altitude will happen early on Friday morning. Beginning about 1:46 a.m., Atlantis' maneuvering thrusters will be pulsed 36 times over a one hour period to raise the station about 3½ statute miles (5.6 km). One more altitude-raising burn is planned before the shuttle undocks Sunday.
Wilcutt and Altman will give their impressions of the ISS as a home and the progress of the STS-106 mission with reporters from The CBS "Early Show," the Cable News Network (CNN) and the Louisville Courier-Journal. The series of interviews will begin at 7:31 a.m. Central time on Friday.
Atlantis' astronauts will conclude their activities mid-morning on Friday and begin an eight-hour sleep period at 10:46 a.m.
The next STS-106 status report will be issued at 7 a.m. on Friday or sooner if events warrant.
- end -