Endeavour’s astronauts – Commander Ken Cockrell, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Franklin Chang-Díaz, Philippe Perrin, Dan Bursch, Yury Onufrienko and Carl Walz – were awakened just before 4:30 Central time this morning to the National Anthem, in honor of Flag Day today.
Working with the International Space Station’s Expedition Five crew, Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev, Endeavour’s astronauts will deactivate the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and will remove it from its location on the Unity node of the International Space Station. Using the shuttle’s robotic arm, Cockrell will place the module back into Endeavour’s cargo bay for its return to Earth.
About 5,600 pounds of equipment and supplies are being left behind on the ISS, including a new phone booth-sized rack to house delicate microgravity experiments and a glovebox to provide the Expedition Five crew future hands-on interaction with contained experiments. The cargo module is returning with 4,665 pounds of discarded equipment and supplies to Earth.
Last night, an initial attempt to provide power from the newly installed Mobile Base System platform to the space station robotic arm, Canadarm2, was not successful. Engineers believe that a minor software glitch is preventing commanding from the platform to reach the newly refurbished robotic arm so that the new platform, rather than the Destiny Laboratory, can provide power for the arm. This is not believed to be a serious problem, and should be corrected well before the arm “walks off” its base location on the Destiny to use the Mobile Base System as its formal platform for a ride down the length of the station’s truss structure. Canadarm2 received a new wrist roll joint yesterday during the final spacewalk of the flight by Chang-Díaz and Perrin, and the arm itself has full functionality and redundancy.
Endeavour’s steering jets are being used to raise the station’s altitude a third and final time today prior to tomorrow’s scheduled undocking. The three maneuvers are expected to raise the altitude of the ISS by around six statute miles.
Endeavour is scheduled to undock from the ISS Saturday morning at 9:32 a.m. Central time while the two spacecraft fly over western Kazakhstan, not far from Russia’s primary launch site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Once Endeavour departs, ISS residents Korzun, Whitson and Treschev will begin their 4 ½ month mission in earnest, unpacking gear and settling in to their new home in orbit.
All systems on both Endeavour and the International Space Station continue to function normally as the two craft orbit the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 240 statute miles. Endeavour is scheduled to undock from the space station Saturday morning.
The next STS-111 status report will be issued Friday evening, or earlier, if events warrant.
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