7:30 p.m. CDT Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-131 MCC Status Report #04
HOUSTON – The seven member crew of Discovery is just hours from joining the Expedition 23 crew aboard the International Space Station as they work toward an early Wednesday morning docking with the outpost.

The shuttle crew’s wakeup song at 7:21 p.m., “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin, was played for Pilot James P. Dutton Jr., who will help guide Discovery to the station’s Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 at 2:44 a.m. Wednesday.

At midnight Commander Alan G. Poindexter and Dutton will fire shuttle jets to refine the orbiter’s approach to the station. Mission Specialists Stephanie Wilson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenberger, Clayton Anderson, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki will support them on the flight deck. The crew will be docking the shuttle without radar because of the Ku-Band antenna failure. They are trained to rendezvous and dock without radar.

At 1:42 a.m., after Discovery arrives at a point 600 feet directly below the station, Poindexter will command the shuttle to slowly rotate so that its underside is facing the station, and Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi will photo-document the shuttle’s heat shield tiles. That imagery will be added to the video taken on flight day 2 and sent to the ground for study by specialists looking for any damaged tiles.

Once leak checks are completed, the hatches between the vehicles are scheduled to open at 4:41 a.m. Wednesday to begin joint operations. With their arrival at the station, it will be the first time since launch that the crew of Discovery can be seen by NASA television viewers.

As the crew prepare for docking, Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio will prepare the spacesuits that will be used for the three planned spacewalks for transfer to the station’s Quest airlock.

The next shuttle status report will be issued at the end of the crew work day, or earlier if events warrant.

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