2:30 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-115 MCC Status Report #08
The Atlantis and Expedition 13 crews are getting ready for the second spacewalk of the STS-115 mission to the International Space Station. They will continue preparations for activation of the P3/P4 truss segment attached to the station Tuesday.
Spacewalkers Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean will release and remove launch locks and launch restraints from the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint of the P4 truss. That joint will enable the new solar arrays to track the sun. The arrays are to be unfurled late today and early Thursday.
Burbank and MacLean spent the night in the Quest Airlock, as did Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Joe Tanner before their Tuesday spacewalk, part of the campout pre-breathe protocol. Burbank and MacLean are preparing for their spacewalk, with help from shuttle Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson and station Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 4:15 a.m. CDT.
Tanner, now a veteran of six spacewalks, will serve as the intravehicular officer for this spacewalk. Piper will operate the station robotic arm to ensure video viewing during the spacewalk.
Because of the success of the first spacewalk, planners were able to add get-ahead tasks to today’s scheduled activities. Once their original tasks are complete, Burbank and MacLean also will prepare the P3 for the mobile transporter, part of a movable base system for the Canadarm2 to move along rails on the truss structure.
Depending on time available, they will remove a keel pin and drag link and stow them within the truss structure. They’ll also remove a Space Vision System target, rotate P1 and P3 mobile transporter and tether shuttle stops. They'll install a temporary rail stop for the Crew and Equipment Translation Aid cart.
Meanwhile, inside the orbiting laboratory, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams will continue with station operations tasks as well as transfer activities and preparations for their upcoming departure.
The two are scheduled to return to Earth aboard their Soyuz spacecraft Sept. 28. They will be replaced by Expedition 14 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, who are scheduled to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan a little after 11 p.m. CDT Sept. 17. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany will remain on board the station and join the Expedition 14 crew.
The next STS-115 mission status report will be issued Wednesday afternoon, or earlier if events warrant.