10 a.m. CST Monday, Nov. 25, 2008
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-126 MCC Status Report #22
Crew members aboard Endeavour and the International Space Station got good news on two fronts when they were awakened for a day to be devoted largely to transfer of materials from the station to be returned to Earth.

The starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, which rotates in a paddle-wheel fashion the 240-foot solar wings on the station’s right side, was automatically tracking the sun for the first time in more than a year during a three-hour, two-orbit test begun at 4:55 a.m. CST. The joint appeared to function well after repairs during the four spacewalks by Endeavour astronauts, but it will be some time before results of this and subsequent tests are known.

The Urine Processor Assembly, part of the station’s new Water Recovery System, completed its second full run. It had shut down four times during earlier tests. After some fixes by station Commander Mike Fincke and shuttle Mission Specialist Don Pettit, it finished a full five-hour run Tuesday morning a little after midnight. After a scheduled three-hour cool-down period, a second run, begun at 3:19 a.m., was completed too.

Endeavour crew members, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe and mission specialists Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Greg Chamitoff, as well as Fincke and station flight engineers Yury Lonchakov and Sandra Magnus, were awakened at 8:25 a.m., half an hour later than scheduled. The song was “Fever,” by Bandella. It was for Pettit and sung by his wife. That group also includes astronaut Steve Robinson.

Transfer of equipment and supplies, now mostly from the station to Endeavour and the Leonardo cargo carrier, is still a little ahead of schedule. With the mission extended a day, today is now the last chance to load Leonardo, getting toward the end of its fifth mission to the station. Steps to close up the pressurized cargo carrier for its transfer back to Endeavour and return to Earth are to begin later today.

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

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