9 a.m. CDT Sunday, March 22, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-119 MCC Status Report #14
The astronauts on board space shuttle Discovery get a halftime break today as they reach the midpoint of the 13-day assembly mission to the International Space Station.

This morning’s wake-up music was “Alive Again” by Chicago, played for Chicago-area native Commander Lee Archambault. He, Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba, Steve Swanson, Richard Arnold and John Phillips have three hours of off-duty time scheduled this morning.

Meanwhile, Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke will fill the Urine Processing Assembly for its first processing run since installation of a new Distillation Assembly, the component that removes impurities from urine in the early phase of water recycling. The new DA had a good “dry spin” yesterday, with Fincke and Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus reporting it made much less noise in operation than had the old one. A second dry spin is planned immediately before the processing run, to provide ground teams an opportunity to record the sound made while the UPA operates, for further analysis and troubleshooting.

Magnus will spend time this morning continuing her handover to Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, while Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov attends to maintenance in the Russian section of the International Space Station.

In the latter portion of the day the crews will turn attention to preparations for the third spacewalk of the mission, on Monday. Difficulties installing a cargo carrier attachment system to the P3 truss segment during Saturday’s spacewalk kept Swanson and Acaba from completing all the tasks on that timeline. The plan for Monday’s spacewalk is under review to ensure that the highest priority tasks for spacewalks on this flight will be completed before Discovery undocks on Wednesday.

At 5:14 p.m. CDT Archambault, Antonelli, Acaba, Phillips, Magnus and Wakata will gather in the Harmony node to discuss the progress of the flight in interviews with CNN en Espanol, CBS News and WOFL-TV in Orlando.

The next status report will be issued at the end of the crew day, or earlier if events warrant.

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