The crews of Endeavour and the International Space Station today got ready to say goodbye to one another, checking out tools that will be used during undocking of the two spacecraft on Monday. They also configured and stowed spacesuits used in the mission's three spacewalks. Crewmembers got some afternoon time off to relax and talk via radio with family members.
This morning Endeavour Commander Jim Wetherbee initiated a series of firings of Endeavour's thrusters to raise the station's altitude by about 2.8 statute miles. This was the third reboost of the flight and left the ISS almost 6½ miles higher than it was when the shuttle docked on Nov. 25. The station's average altitude is now about 247 miles.
Shuttle crewmembers, Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington, and Expedition 5's NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson, her Expedition 6 successor Don Pettit and Expedition 6 Commander Ken Bowersox, spoke with representatives of Indian Country Today and Native America Calling radio network.
Transfer activities wound down, with the crew wrapping up movement of supplies, equipment and experiments between the two spacecraft. Endeavour brought more than 2,500 pounds of material to the station in the shuttle's crew compartment.
During the afternoon, Pettit and Whitson did additional troubleshooting on the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) in the station's U.S. laboratory Destiny. The glovebox allows experiments with fluids, flame, particles or fumes to be performed in an enclosed environment. The MSG's power distribution and conversion box failed Nov. 20. The box will be returned to Earth aboard Endeavour, leaving the MSG inactive.
Handover talks continued between the Expedition 5 crew, Commander Valery Korzun, Whitson and cosmonaut Sergei Treschev, and Expedition 6 crewmembers Bowersox, Cosmonaut Nikolai Budarin and Pettit.
Hatches between the two spacecraft are to be closed about 11:15 a.m. CST Monday, with Endeavour undocking from the station about 2:05 p.m. near the west coast of Australia after a pass over the Indian Ocean. Landing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at Kennedy Space Center.
The next STS-113 mission status report will be issued Monday morning or earlier if events warrant.
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