Following four consecutive days of on-orbit construction outside the International Space Station, Discoverys astronauts today will work inside the Unity and Zarya modules, completing some final connections for the new Z1 Truss and transferring equipment for use by the first resident crew, slated to arrive early next month.
Once inside, Pilot Pam Melroy and Mission Specialist Jeff Wisoff will gather samples from various surfaces in the Zarya module to characterize the onboard environment and identify any microbial growth. They also will inspect and wipe down some surfaces and stowage bags with a fungicide to inhibit microbial growth. Melroy and Wisoff also team up to complete final connections and outfitting of the Z1 pressure dome that links cables between the externally mounted truss structure and the Unity module.
Mission Specialists Bill McArthur and Leroy Chiao will work together to check out the control moment gyros the attitude control system integrated into the Z1 Truss connecting a laptop computer to a local power bus and commanding on operational heaters to provide additional warmth for the CMGs prior to their activation following the arrival of the Destiny laboratory module early next year.
NASDA Astronaut Koichi Wakata once again will power up Discoverys robot arm, this time to conduct a photographic survey of the International Space Station.
All seven crew members will participate in transferring equipment between Discovery and the Unity and Zarya modules of the station. The bulk of the material to be transferred to the station includes computer equipment, hardware and IMAX camera equipment that will be used to document life on the station. In return, Discovery will carry a variety of material back to Earth, including a protein crystal growth experiment that has been on board the station since it was installed by the STS-106 crew in early September, becoming the first microgravity science experiment to be conducted on board the space station.
Late in the day, Commander Brian Duffy will begin the process of closing hatches between the Zarya and Unity modules as the seven-member crew leaves the space station. The final hatch closure between Discovery and the International Space Station should occur just before 4:30 p.m. CDT today. Discovery is scheduled to undock from the station Friday morning at 8:40 a.m. CDT.
Duffy, Melroy, Chiao and McArthur will take a break from their activities this morning to discuss their mission with Space.com, ABC Radio Network and KNX Radio, Los Angeles in a series of interviews beginning at 11:57 a.m. CDT.
The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued about 7 p.m., or as events warrant.
- end -