Endeavour’s astronauts – Commander Ken Cockrell, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Franklin Chang-Díaz, Philippe Perrin, Yury Onufrienko, Carl Walz and Dan Bursch – were awakened about 4:30 Central time this morning to the sound of “Chasing Sheep is Best Left to Shepherds,” by Peter Greenaway, selected for Perrin by his family. The wakeup call began the eighth day of Endeavour’s supply, assembly and maintenance mission to the International Space Station.
At 1:55 a.m. Central time, Walz set a new U.S. record for most aggregate days spent in orbit, exceeding Shannon Lucid’s record as he reached the 223 day mark accrued over five flights. Last night, Walz and Bursch also surpassed Lucid’s U.S. single spaceflight endurance record of 188 days at 9:19 p.m. Central time.
Today, along with Expedition Five Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev, the 10 astronauts and cosmonauts will continue to transfer unneeded station equipment and supplies to the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to be returned to earth. Handover conferences will also continue between the two Expedition crews.
The crewmembers will also review the plans for the third and final spacewalk of the mission on Thursday. Chang-Díaz and Perrin will replace a faulty wrist roll joint on the space station’s robotic arm, the Canadarm2.
Reporters in the U.S., France and Canada will also have a chance to question the two crews on the progress of the flight during a Joint Crew News Conference this afternoon.
The second of three reboosts of the station’s altitude will be performed later today, using the shuttle jets to counter the natural effects of atmospheric drag on the station’s orbit.
All systems on both Endeavour and the International Space Station continue to function normally as the two craft orbit the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 240 statute miles.
The next STS-111 status report will be issued Wednesday evening, or earlier, if events warrant.
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