STS-127 MCC Status Report #17
7 p.m. CDT Thursday, July 23, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
On its inaugural operational use, the Japanese robotic arm installed the first experiments and hardware on Kibo’s new porch at the International Space Station.
Station and space shuttle Endeavour crew members took turns operating the arm to move equipment from a Japanese payload carrier to the Japanese Exposed Facility outside Kibo. The operations were performed by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, Expedition 20 Flight Engineer Tim Kopra, shuttle Commander Mark Polansky, shuttle Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialist Julie Payette.
Although the robotic arm had been checked out previously, the operations ran long as the arm was put through its paces holding experiments and hardware for the first time. The initial movement was faster than expected so the arm was stopped and transitioned into a manual mode that was a bit slower moving.
All three experiments – the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, Inter-orbit Communication System and Space Environment Data Acquisition Equipment-Attached Payload – were installed on the Kibo exposed facility.
After the robotics operations, crew members took time to discuss their mission with reporters in North Carolina, Maine, Florida, Nevada and Texas.
The crew also prepared spacesuits and tools, and reviewed the updated procedures for the fourth spacewalk. Mission specialists Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn will swap all four of the remaining P6 Truss batteries on the fourth of five spacewalks, which is budgeted to last seven and a half hours.
Cassidy and Mission Specialist Dave Wolf completed two of the battery swaps on the third spacewalk, but had to end the excursion early because of rising carbon dioxide levels in Cassidy’s suit. A different carbon dioxide removal canister will be used in Cassidy’s suit Friday.
Inside, the crew transferred experiment samples to Endeavour’s high-tech freezer for return home. Tonight Cassidy and Marshburn will spend the night in the lower-pressure airlock to prepare for Friday’s spacewalk.
The next mission status report will be issued Friday after crew wakeup, which is scheduled for 4:03 a.m.
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