4 p.m. CST Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-129 MCC Status Report #03
HOUSTON – Atlantis astronauts Tuesday inspected the space shuttle’s thermal protection system, checked out spacesuits and prepared to dock with the International Space Station.

Much of the day for Commander Charles Hobaugh, Pilot Barry Wilmore and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Robert Satcher Jr. was devoted to inspection of the shuttle’s heat-resistant tiles and reinforced carbon-carbon surfaces on the wing leading edges and the nose.

Hobaugh, Wilmore and Melvin used the shuttle’s arm and its Orbital Boom Sensor System extension to survey Atlantis’ right wing. Bresnik, Foreman and Satcher checked out spacesuits.

After the right wing scan Bresnik replaced Hobaugh on the survey team for detailed looks at the nose cap, the left wing and other areas while Foreman and Satcher kept working with the space-suits.

After the inspections were complete and the boom was berthed, Melvin and Bresnik grappled the Express Logistics Carrier 1 in Atlantis’ cargo bay with the shuttle’s robotic arm to get ready for the ELC’s transfer to the station.

Toward the end of their day, crew members extended the Orbital Docking System Ring and checked out rendezvous tools. Atlantis is scheduled to dock with the station a little before 11 a.m. CST on Wednesday.

The Atlantis crew is scheduled to begin its sleep period at 7:28 p.m. Its docking day wakeup call is scheduled for 3:28 a.m.

On the station the Expedition 21 crew, Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineers Jeffrey Williams, Nicole Stott, Maxim Suraev, Roman Romanenko and Robert Thirsk, was getting ready for Atlantis’ arrival. They will photograph the shuttle’s heat shield during its back flip on its approach. Stott will return to Earth aboard Atlantis.

The next shuttle status report will be issued after Atlantis crew wakeup or earlier if warranted.

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