Friday, March 14, 2008 - 4:30 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-123 MCC Status Report #08
Space shuttle Endeavour crew members will make their first foray into new international territory today, as the hatch is opened between the International Space Station and its newest module.
The astronauts started their day at 3:35 p.m. to the tune of The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season).” The song was played for Mission Specialist Rick Linnehan.
Linnehan will be one of the first three crew members to enter the station’s new module, the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module, Pressurized Section – or JLP, for short. Preceding him will be Japanese Space Agency astronaut Takao Doi and station Commander Peggy Whitson. That entry is scheduled to take place at 11:18 p.m.
But before that can happen, Doi, Linnehan and Whitson will spend several hours outfitting the vestibule between the station and the module and beginning activation of the module.
Work will also be done on Endeavour’s other main cargo, the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator. When Dextre, as the robot is known, was removed from the shuttle’s cargo bay after the shuttle docked to the station, ground teams ran into problems routing power to the pallet on which the robot is being assembled. The teams tried troubleshooting the problem with a software patch early this morning, but were not successful.
The next round of troubleshooting is scheduled to start at 8:53 p.m. In hopes of showing that the problem is in the pallet, not the robot itself, Mission Specialists Bob Behnken and Leopold Eyharts will grapple Dextre with the space station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, and attempt to power the robot through the robotic arm.
Shuttle Commander Dominic Gorie, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and station Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman will take about 20 minutes out of their schedule at 12:28 a.m., to talk with reporters from ABC News, Space.com and Florida Today.
The astronauts will wrap up the fifth day of their mission by reviewing procedures for the mission’s second spacewalk. Spacewalkers Linnehan and Mission Specialist Mike Foreman will spend their sleep period in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for that spacewalk on Saturday.
The next STS-123 status report will be issued near the end of the crew’s day at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, or earlier if events warrant.
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