4 p.m. CDT Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-132 MCC Status Report #09
HOUSTON – The International Space Station has a new module named Rassvet, the Russian word for dawn. Atlantis astronauts used the station’s Canadarm2 to connect the module just after sunrise over Argentina.

Mission Specialist Garrett Reisman guided the docking probe of Rassvet, at the end of the 58-foot robotic arm, into the receptacle on the Earth-facing port on the Zarya module. There was about 1 millimeter of clearance on either side of the probe. Capcom Steve Swanson in the station flight control room radioed up that Reisman had made “a hole in one.”

Mission Specialist Piers Sellers operated a computer linked to the module, also known as Mini-Research Module 1, and the Russian part of the station. The interface between the 19.7-foot Rassvet, weighing with its cargo a total of 17,760 pounds, and Zarya was sealed at 7:50 a.m. CDT, about three hours after the module had been lifted from Atlantis’ cargo bay.

Atlantis Commander Ken Ham and Pilot Tony Antonelli used the shuttle’s robotic arm to lift Rassvet from the cargo bay to hand it off to the station arm. Then they moved that arm into position for its cameras to monitor the move.

The new module will host a variety of biotechnology and biological science experiments and fluid physics and educational research. Rassvet contains a pressurized compartment with eight workstations, including a glove box to keep experiments separated from the in-cabin environment; two incubators to accommodate high- and low-temperature experiments; and a special platform to protect experiments from onboard vibrations.

Attached to its exterior is an experiment airlock that will be used on another Russian laboratory module set for delivery in 2012.

After the midday meal, Reisman and Sellers used Canadarm2 to unberth the orbiter boom sensor system from the sill of Atlantis’ cargo bay. They handed it off to the shuttle arm, again operated by Ham and Antonelli, which itself could not reach the arm extension’s grapple fixture while docked. The OBSS will be used to monitor activities during the mission’s second spacewalk on Wednesday.

The spacewalkers, Mission Specialists Michael Good and Steve Bowen, configured tools and prepared spacesuits for the spacewalk. Plans call for them to change out three batteries on the station’s port-side truss segment with three of the six new ones brought up by Atlantis. The remaining three of the 375-pound batteries are to be changed out on the Friday spacewalk by Reisman and Good.

Good and Bowen will spend tonight in the Quest airlock with pressure reduced to 10.2 psi, to reduce the possibility of developing the bends in the low pressure of the suits, which will be under 5 psi. At the end of the workday, the Atlantis crew along with three station crew members met for an hour-long spacewalk procedures review.

As part of that review, crew members will talk about a task added to their spacewalk to resolve a problem encountered during the heat shield survey the day after launch. They will put a tie wrap on two cables to relieve a snag that is preventing full use of a laser range imager and an intensified video camera on the extension’s pan-tilt assembly.

The task is to be performed early in the spacewalk. As a result, the crew’s bedtime was moved up 30 minutes. They’ll get an early wakeup call and an early start on the spacewalk, now scheduled to begin at 6:15 a.m.

At 1:20 p.m., Ham, Reisman, Sellers, station Commander Oleg Kotov, and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Tracy Caldwell Dyson took a break to field questions of reporters from MSNBC, FOX News and CNN.

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

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