With the Expedition Six crewmembers settling into their new on-orbit home, today's activities largely will focus on continuing transfer of equipment, experiments and hardware, and a formal Change of Command ceremony between resident crews on board the International Space Station.
Among the items to be transferred today are various science experiments, two returning home aboard Endeavour and one moving to the station. This morning, Mission Specialist Mike Lopez-Alegria and Expedition Five NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson will transfer the Protein Crystal Growth Single Thermal Enclosure System (PCG-STES) - Unit 7 to Endeavour, while Expedition Six Commander Ken Bowersox will transfer PCG-STES Unit 10 from the shuttle to the station. This afternoon, Lopez-Alegria and Expedition Six NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit will transfer the Plant Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (PGBA) to Endeavour. Plants grown while on orbit will be studied by researchers on the ground.
Whitson and Pettit will also spend some time today troubleshooting the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) on board the station. The MSG recently developed a problem with its power distribution and conversion box - the device that provides electrical power to the facility.
To date, NASA has conducted more than 90,000 hours of scientific research aboard the station and the Expedition Six crew is scheduled to conduct 18 new or continuing experiments.
About 11 a.m., Commander Jim Wetherbee will fire Endeavour's small thruster jets to gently raise the altitude of the station by slightly less than one mile. Late today, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialist John Herrington, Lopez-Alegria, Whitson, Bowersox and Pettit will take time to review plans for Saturday's third and final scheduled spacewalk of the mission.
A formal Change of Command ceremony between the Expedition Five and Six crews is scheduled for 2:20 p.m., but may occur earlier. The full crews also will gather for a joint crew news conference beginning at 3:49 p.m. central time.
The next STS-113 mission status report will be issued Friday evening or earlier if events warrant.
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