Astronauts and cosmonauts on board Atlantis and the International Space Station spent today transferring supplies and hardware, and preparing for Monday's third and final spacewalk of the mission.
The Expedition 5 station crew spent a big part of its day taking apart the station's exercise treadmill, installing replacement parts and putting the system back together. Engineers on the ground quickly pulled together a backup plan for the task when the on-orbit maintenance team reported a broken cable on the gyroscope that is part of the vibration dampening system for the treadmill. Using some Teflon and Kapton tape to protect metal parts that might rub together until a new cable can be delivered to the station, the crewmembers were able to put the system back together so that it could be restored to fully operational status. After a final test Monday, exercise on the treadmill will resume.
One planned activity was deferred until tomorrow. The radiator assembly on the newly installed S1 Truss was rotated into position today, but the first radiator deployment won't occur until 2:52 a.m. central time Monday. The radiator was slated to be deployed Sunday afternoon, but protective circuits designed to measure current during preliminary steps needed to be adjusted. The tolerance levels set during ground testing needed to be expanded to a greater tolerance level in space. With that complete, ground controllers elected to defer actual deployment until early Monday morning, when they will be able to watch the deployment live.
Final preparations for Monday's spacewalk, slated to begin at 9:41 a.m., included a review of procedures, and recharging of the suits to be worn by Dave Wolf and Piers Sellers. During the planned 6 ½-hour-long spacewalk, Wolf and Sellers will remove and replace an interface cable to the station's mobile transporter unit, or railcar. With that complete, they will install a series of fluid jumpers that will allow ammonia coolant to flow between the S0 and S1 trusses. That activity is expected to last about 1 ½ hours. They also will install the last of the spool position devices on quick disconnect fittings in the ammonia lines.
All nine crew members took time out today to talk with media gathered at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The astronauts and cosmonauts fielded questions about life on board the station and the upcoming return of the Expedition 5 crew in November.
Atlantis' crew will awaken at 2:46 a.m. Monday, with the station crew arising about 30 minutes later. The next STS-112 mission status report will be issued Monday morning, or earlier if warranted.
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