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NASA NEWS

2 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

09.12.06
STATUS REPORT: STS-115-06

STS-115 MCC Status Report #06

It's installation day on the International Space Station. The Atlantis and Expedition 13 crews will attach the P3/P4 truss and do the first of three spacewalks by shuttle crew members.

Atlantis' astronauts were awakened at 11:15 p.m. CDT Monday with "My Friendly Epistle," a Ukrainian song by Taras Shevchenko. It was played for Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper.

She and fellow mission specialist Joe Tanner are scheduled to begin spacewalk 1 just after 4 a.m. They spent the night in the Quest Airlock, its pressure reduced to 10.2 psi. That was done to help purge nitrogen from their systems to avoid the possibility of formation of nitrogen bubbles in their blood during the spacewalk.

They are being helped in spacewalk preparations by Atlantis Commander Brent Jett, Mission Specialist Dan Burbank and station crewman Thomas Reiter.

At about 1 a.m., Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Steve MacLean and Expedition 13 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams used the station's Canadarm2 to begin the process of moving the truss to its new position at the end of the P1 truss segment. There four bolts will attach it.

Shortly after their spacewalk begins, Tanner and Piper will move to P3/P4. Tanner will connect power cables. Piper, working nearby, will release launch restraints on the Solar Array Blanket Box. The two will then work together and release other restraints on the Beta Gimbal Assembly, the structure between the truss electronics and the Solar Array Wings. Next, they will work on configurations of the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, including the installation of drive lock assemblies.

Tanner’s final task will be connecting the electrical cables in the upper utility tray and removing two other circuit interrupt devices, which is necessary for the upcoming STS-116 mission. He and Piper will then return to the airlock.

Throughout the day, other crewmembers will support the spacewalk activities as well as work to transfer equipment and supplies between the two spacecraft and prepare for Wednesday's spacewalk by Burbank and MacLean.

The next STS-115 mission status report will be issued Tuesday afternoon, or earlier if events warrant.

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