8:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-117 MCC Status Report #08
The International Space Station’s new solar array wings are spreading today while the 10 astronauts and cosmonauts get ready for the second spacewalk during this flight of space shuttle Atlantis.
The day began at 8:08 a.m. with the wakeup song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, played for Mission Specialist Danny Olivas. Olivas and Mission Specialist Jim Reilly completed a 6-hour, 15-minute spacewalk yesterday to complete the hardware installation of the S3/S4 Truss segments, which cleared the way for flight controllers to activate the new components.
Overnight ISS flight controllers commanded the initial minimal deployment of both solar array wings. Starting at 10:43 this morning shuttle Commander Rick Sturckow, Pilot Lee Archambault and Mission Specialists Pat Forrester, Steve Swanson, Suni Williams, Olivas and Reilly are scheduled to observe and assist in the complete deployment of those solar arrays to their full 115-foot length.
After lunch the shuttle crewmembers all get a couple of hours off duty before beginning preparations for a spacewalk by Forrester and Swanson tomorrow. They will assist with the initial stages of retraction of the starboard side solar array on the P6 module before removing the remaining launch restraints on the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint on S3/S4. That’s required to permit the SARJ to rotate so the new solar arrays can track the sun while the station orbits the Earth.
The shuttle crew and the Expedition 15 crewmembers, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson, are awaiting word from the Mission Management Team on the plan for the mission’s third and fourth spacewalks. The MMT extended the mission by two days and added a fourth EVA to provide time to repair the raised thermal blanket on the Orbital Maneuvering System pod. A decision about whether that job will be done on EVA 3 or EVA 4 is expected today.
The next STS-117 status report will be issued Tuesday evening, or earlier if events warrant.