The crew of Endeavour awakened at 7:29 a.m. to begin final preparations for this afternoon's docking with the International Space Station. Endeavour is now 350 miles behind the space station closing the distance between them at the rate of about 130 miles every orbit. Docking is slated to occur at 3:26 p.m. central time today with the two spacecraft high over the Kazakh/Uzbekistan border.
Onboard the space station, the Expedition Five crew - Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev - awakened at 7:50 a.m. to continue preparations for the arrival of their latest guests, including their replacement crew.
After hatch opening and a safety briefing conducted by Korzun, the two crews will begin transferring supplies and equipment that will be needed during the three upcoming spacewalks, as well as the Expedition Six seat liners and reentry suits for the Soyuz spacecraft. The Soyuz serves as a lifeboat for the station, enabling a crew to come home quickly in the event of an emergency. Each crewmember has their own custom-fitted seat liner to cushion the effects of a Soyuz landing. The official exchange of resident crews aboard the station will be complete once the Expedition Six crew has transferred its seatliners to the Soyuz spacecraft and the Expedition Five crew transfers its seatliners over to Endeavour for the return trip home.
Over the next seven days, the astronauts and cosmonauts will work together to attach another truss to the space station, the Port 1 (P1) truss, and complete the changeover between the Expedition Five and Six crews. The first of three spacewalks to install and outfit the truss is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, to be conducted by Mission Specialists Mike Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington.
Endeavour's crew - Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Lopez-Alegria and Herrington, and the Expedition Six crew Commander Ken Bowersox, NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit and Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin - will begin rendezvous operations around 10:35 a.m. The final approach phase of the docking is scheduled to begin about 1 p.m. with hatch opening between the two spacecraft scheduled to occur at 4:45 p.m.
The next STS-113 mission status report will be issued Monday evening, or earlier if events warrant.
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