The ten astronauts and cosmonauts aboard Discovery and the International Space Station have started a day that will see the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo removed from the Unity node of the station and reberthed in the shuttle's cargo bay for the trip home.
Discovery's crew, including the returning Expedition Two crewmembers, were awakened shortly after 4 a.m. Central time by the sounds of "Under the Boardwalk" by the Drifters, played for Jim Voss by his wife Suzan.
Leonardo brought almost 7,000 pounds of material to the station, including equipment, supplies and two scientific racks for the new Expedition Three crew of Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin. Leonardo, which is one of three pressurized cargo carriers for station resupply activities provided by the Italian Space Agency, is completing its second visit to the station.
Mission Specialist Pat Forrester will use the shuttle's robotic arm this afternoon to unberth Leonardo from the station and move it to Discovery, beginning the one-hour operation a little before 12:30 p.m. He will be backed up by Discovery Commander Scott Horowitz, who operated the arm during two successful space walks by Forrester and Dan Barry to outfit the station with critical spare equipment and scientific gear.
Overnight, controllers reworked the crewmembers' flight plan to give them some time off this afternoon after Leonardo is returned to Discovery. The day will be highlighted by final handover discussions between the two Expedition crews before hatches are closed one last time between Discovery and the station tomorrow morning just before 7 a.m. Central time. Discovery is scheduled to undock from the ISS at 9:52 a.m. Central time Monday to set the stage for a landing at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday afternoon, completing 167 days in space for Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev, Voss and Susan Helms.
Meanwhile, Russian space officials are all set to launch a new Progress resupply craft to the International Space Station on Tuesday at 4:24 a.m. Central time for a docking early Thursday. The Progress will carry supplies, food and equipment for the new Expedition Three crew. The Progress currently docked to the aft end of the Zvezda Service Module will be undocked on Wednesday and commanded to a destructive reentry in Earth's atmosphere.
Discovery and the ISS are orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 246 statute miles with all systems functioning normally. The next mission status report will be issued at about 6 p.m., or earlier, if events warrant.
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