3 p.m. CDT Friday, July 15, 2011
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-135 MCC Status Report #15
HOUSTON – News media interviews, a news conference with reporters at NASA centers and in Japan and a call from President Obama highlighted Atlantis crew activities Friday.

Between those events, it was back to the demanding work of cargo transfer between the shuttle and station. The unloading of the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module’s 9,400 pounds of cargo was about 70 percent complete and packing its 5,700 pounds of homeward-bound material had begun.

At about 11:30 a.m. CDT Obama radioed the combined International Space Station and shuttle crews that he was proud of all the crew members.

“We’re all watching as the 10 of you work together as a team,” Obama said. “Your example means so much not just to your fellow Americans but also your fellow citizens on Earth. The space program has always embodied our sense of adventure and explorations and courage.”

He thanked those who had supported the shuttle program during the past 30 years, and all the men and women of NASA who helped the country lead the space age.

Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson said that all the partners on the station were honored to represent their home countries in this multinational effort.

Station Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov described the station and shuttle crews, from three nations, as “one big family.”

The media interviews began about 5:45 a.m. Ferguson and Pilot Doug Hurley talked with representatives of CBS Radio, KYW-TV in Philadelphia and Associated Press. Next up was a 7:04 a.m. chat by all Atlantis crew members with WPVI-TV and KYW Radio, both of Philadelphia, and Reuters.

At the 45-minute crew news conference, Atlantis crew members and their six station colleagues gathered in the Japanese Kibo Laboratory to take questions from news media. Reporters at four NASA centers, NASA headquarters and in Japan participated.

This morning Ferguson and Hurley brought General Purpose Computer 4 back on line in a backup role. GPC-4 had unexpectedly shut down a little after 5 p.m. Thursday, about an hour and a half after the crew had gone to bed. Crew members transferred its functions to another computer, and this morning reloaded its software and got it running again.

Atlantis Mission Specialist Rex Walheim and station Flight Engineer Mike Fossum worked to resize U.S. spacesuits to be left on the station.

The next status report will be issued after crew wakeup, or earlier if warranted. The crew is scheduled to awaken just before 10:30 p.m.


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