12 p.m. CDT Saturday, July 16, 2011
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-135 MCC Status Report #17
HOUSTON – All four Atlantis crew members worked Saturday to move equipment and supplies between the International Space Station and the multi-purpose logistics module Raffaello.

Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim, with help from their station colleagues, were nearing the home stretch in transfer activities. Most of the 9,400 pounds of equipment brought up in Raffaello is aboard the station, and the loading of 5,700 pounds of return items is well under way. Raffaello is scheduled to be unberthed from the station’s Harmony node and returned to the shuttle’s cargo bay early Monday.

Early Saturday Ferguson and Hurley fixed a latch on a door in the floor of Atlantis’ middeck. The air revitalization system compartment beneath the door houses lithium hydroxide canisters, used to scrub carbon dioxide from the shuttle’s cabin atmosphere.

The system will be needed once hatches between Atlantis and the station are closed about 8:30 a.m. CDT Monday. Atlantis is scheduled to undock from the station about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, and land at Kennedy Space Center just before 5 a.m. on Thursday.

Magnus spent about an hour and a half Saturday morning taking microbial air samples in the station. They will be returned in Atlantis for study and analysis.

Walheim continued his work with spacewalking tools and equipment. Some will be left on the station, and be available for use in upcoming Russian spacewalks from the Pirs docking compartment. It will be about a year before the next scheduled U.S. spacewalk from the station’s Quest airlock takes place.

The astronauts also provided a recorded message as a tribute to Atlantis, the entire Space Shuttle Program and team. In the message, Ferguson spoke about the U.S. flag displayed behind them that was flown on the first space shuttle mission, STS-1. It was flown on this mission to be presented to the space station crew and it will remain displayed onboard the station until the next crew launched from the U.S. retrieves it for return to Earth. It will fly from Earth again, with the next crew that launches from the U.S. on a journey of exploration beyond Earth orbit.

The tribute video is available online at:

The next status report will be issued after the crew’s 9:59 p.m. Saturday wakeup or earlier if warranted.


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