4:30 p.m. CST Friday, Nov. 21, 2008
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-126 MCC Status Report #15
The space shuttle and International Space Station crews were hard at work transferring, assembling and testing hardware at the station today.

Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Sandra Magnus tested latches on the Exposed Facility Berthing Mechanism for the Japanese Kibo laboratory. The mechanism will be used to install an exterior science platform from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency during a shuttle flight next year.

Magnus continued on with installation of a component for the regenerative life support system. The Total Organic Carbon Analyzer will be used to test samples that come from the new Water Recovery System.

Engineers are continuing to assess indications from sensors within the Water Recovery System that caused the Urine Processor Assembly to shut down during initial test operations Thursday and again Friday morning. The system uses a rotating distillation process to separate out water from urine for further treatment. Sensors associated with the motor of the centrifuge within the processor showed the speed of the motor slowing and that the power the motor was using changed.

Space shuttle Commander Chris Ferguson and Pilot Eric Boe used Endeavour’s reaction control system jets to boost the station’s altitude by about one nautical mile. The new position sets up for docking of the next Progress cargo craft at the end of November.

Crew members also got ready for another spacewalk by assembling tools, reviewing procedures and beginning the campout in the Quest airlock for the spacewalkers.

Saturday’s spacewalkers Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen are scheduled to leave the station’s Quest airlock at 12:45 p.m. on the mission’s third spacewalk. They will clean and lubricate the starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint and replace some of its bearing assemblies.

Yesterday’s spacewalkers Piper and Shane Kimbrough assembled a camera that will be installed on the outside of the station during the fourth spacewalk by Kimbrough and Bowen. It will be placed on the station’s port one truss segment to assist with views during the future docking of a Japanese H-IIA Transfer Vehicle.

Today the crews also continued transferring material between the station and the shuttle, participated in a news conference and had some off-duty time.

Endeavour’s crew is scheduled to go to bed at 11:55 p.m. today and be awakened at 7:55 a.m. Saturday. The next shuttle status report will be issued after the crew is awakened, or earlier if events warrant.

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