Transfer of equipment and supplies from Endeavour's middeck to the International Space Station passed the 1,700-pound mark today, with about 75 percent of the total material from the shuttle now aboard the orbiting laboratory. More than 750 pounds of material has been moved from the station to Endeavour's crew compartment.
Handover briefings of the Expedition 6 crew, Commander Ken Bowersox, cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit, by their Expedition 5 predecessors, Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and cosmonaut Sergei Treschev, continued. The briefings focus on procedures aboard the ISS, science and the location of equipment and supplies.
This afternoon Korzun ceremonially handed over the reigns of the station to Bowersox. Expedition 6 has been the official station crew since Monday when they installed their custom seat liners in the Soyuz spacecraft attached to the station. Later in the afternoon the 10 astronauts and cosmonauts held their crew news conference, fielding questions from reporters at Johnson Space Center and Kennedy Space Center.
Endeavour commander Jim Wetherbee initiated a series of shuttle thruster firings which boosted the altitude of the International Space Station by about eight-tenths of a mile this morning. The reboost left the station at an average altitude of more than 244 statute miles. It was the second of three reboosts during Endeavour's mission to the station. The first, on Wednesday, increased the station's altitude by about 2.8 miles. A third reboost is scheduled for Sunday.
Whitson and Pettit did troubleshooting on the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) on board the station. They checked electrical circuits upstream and downstream of the MSG's power distribution and conversion box - the device that provides electrical power to the facility - in hopes of identifying what caused the component to fail Nov. 20.
Endeavour astronauts Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington reviewed procedures for their third and final spacewalk of the STS-113 mission on Saturday. Participating were pilot and spacewalk intravehicular officer Paul Lockhart, Bowersox and Canadarm2 operators Whitson and Pettit. Much of the spacewalk will be devoted to installation of 33 spool positioning devices, to ensure that quick disconnect devices in station ammonia coolant lines will release as designed. Other tasks include connecting Ammonia Tank Assembly umbilicals and reconfiguring a circuit breaker on the Main Bus Switching Unit. If time allows, they also will reconfigure the Squib Firing Unit, designed to release Port One truss radiator panels for deployment.
The next STS-113 mission status report will be issued Saturday morning or earlier if events warrant.
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