STS-118 MCC Status Report #05
6 p.m. CDT, Friday, Aug. 10, 2007|
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
The crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour joined forces with the International Space Station crew this afternoon at 3:04 p.m. CDT when STS-118 Commander Scott Kelly floated into the Destiny Laboratory followed by the rest of his crew.
The shuttle and space station docked at 1:02 p.m. CDT while traveling 214 miles above the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of Sydney, Australia.
Prior to docking, Kelly flew Endeavour through an orbital back flip while about 600 feet below the space station, allowing Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov to take a series of high-resolution photographs of the orbiter’s heat shield.
Mission managers today decided to have the crew perform focused inspections Sunday of Endeavour’s heat-protection tiles after launch videos and pre-docking photography showed a three-inch-round ding on the shuttle’s starboard underside. The inspections will be carried out using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, which is capable of collecting three-dimensional laser images and high-resolution digital photography of the area.
After a brief welcoming ceremony and safety briefing, the joint crew got right to work on its first job – transfer of the newest piece of station structure from the shuttle’s payload bay to the station’s robotic arm. Pilot Charles Hobaugh joined Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Clay Anderson at the Destiny Laboratory robotics workstation to manipulate the station’s Canadarm2 while Tracy Caldwell and Rick Mastracchio operated the shuttle’s arm from Endeavour’s aft flight deck.
The 4,010 pound, compact-car sized Starboard 5 (S5) truss spacer will remain on the end of the station’s arm overnight before being installed Saturday during the mission’s first spacewalk. Connecting the S5 spacer to the end of the starboard truss will set the stage for installation of the Starboard 6 truss and its solar arrays next year.
At 4:17 p.m. CDT, the crew activated the Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System (SSPTS). The SSPTS routes power from the station to a visiting shuttle. If it continues to operate well, mission managers could elect to extend STS-118 from 11 to 14 days and increase the number of spacewalks to four.
Mastracchio and Mission Specialist Dave Williams will spend tonight "camped out" inside the Quest airlock, with air pressure lowered to help purge nitrogen from their bodies in preparation for the excursion. Their spacewalk is scheduled to begin just after 7 a.m. CDT Saturday. The spacewalkers will monitor Hobaugh and Anderson’s initial installation of the S5 truss using Canadarm2, then complete structural, power and data connections to the stations’ newest asset.
The next STS-118 mission status report will be issued Saturday morning or earlier if events warrant.