Gaining on the International Space Station by more than 1,000 statute miles each orbit, Atlantis’ crew is preparing for a Wednesday docking with the orbiting laboratory.
The crew will spend today testing and preparing shuttle equipment that will be used to rendezvous and dock with the complex and to install the first and central station truss segment delivered by Atlantis. The crew will power up and test the shuttle’s robotic arm, check spacesuits, set up television cameras for the rendezvous activities and prepare the shuttle docking mechanism for contact with the station at 11:06 a.m. Wednesday. Atlantis’ mission is to install the 44-foot-long S-Zero (S0) truss on the station, a central girder segment that is one of the most complex pieces of the International Space Station ever launched. The segment is filled with electrical, computer and cooling connections as well as navigation and robotics equipment, including a space railway.
Commander Mike Bloomfield, Pilot Steve Frick, and mission specialists Ellen Ochoa, Steve Smith, Rex Walheim, Jerry Ross and Lee Morin were awakened at 4:44 a.m. to the song “The Best Years of Our Lives” performed by the Baha Men.
Ochoa and Ross, who has now flown in space more times – seven – than any other astronaut, will take a break from the their work onboard Atlantis about 10:44 a.m. CDT for interviews by two Indianapolis, IN, television stations and the Associated Press. Ross is an Indiana native. Late this afternoon, Atlantis’ orbital maneuvering system engines will be fired to adjust the rate at which the shuttle is closing in on the station and maintain its course toward a Wednesday morning docking.
The next STS-110 mission status report will be issued Tuesday evening or as events warrant.
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