Discovery's astronauts are preparing to enter the International Space Station for the first time in six months following a rousing wakeup call from Mission Control in honor of Memorial Day.
The crew is scheduled to climb inside the Unity and Zarya modules mid evening to begin transferring nearly 3,000 pounds of equipment to be used by future crews on the ISS. In and around transferring operations, some maintenance tasks will be conducted - one inside Zarya and one inside Unity.
After wakeup to the notes of the US Coast Guard Band playing "Morning Colors," the crew reviewed procedures for the entry activities with both Mission Control Centers in Houston and Moscow.
Canadian astronaut Julie Payette and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev will travel to the Zarya module and begin maintenance activities on the storage batteries located under the floor board. The Zarya has six such batteries, which have been experiencing a slight loss in charging capacity during recharge. Each battery has three "charge controllers" for a total of 18 that will be changed during this procedure. Later, Mission Specialist Dan Barry and Tokarev will install some acoustic insulation around some fans inside Zarya to reduce noise levels in the module.
Meanwhile, in the Unity module, Mission Specialist Tammy Jernigan and Pilot Rick Husband will install shelving in 2 soft stowage racks. The racks themselves were launched with Unity in December 1998 for use in supporting logistics transfer activities. Later, Husband and Barry will conduct troubleshooting and maintenance activities on the Early Communications System.
In the afternoon, the third major task of the flight begins - transfer of logistics items. Ochoa will coordinate this activity and will direct and document all transfers leaving the shuttle. On the ISS side, Payette will receive the items and, along with Tokarev, will document and stow items aboard the ISS. Discovery's astronauts are scheduled to transfer almost 2,900 pounds of supplies and equipment during the next three days.
The next STS-96 mission status report will be issued at approximately 7 a.m. Central time or as events warrant.
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