Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.06.02 - STS-124 MCC Status Report #04


The massive Kibo laboratory is one step closer to its final destination as the shuttle Discovery is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station at 12:54 p.m. CDT today.

The crew was awakened at 5:32 a.m. with “Away from Home,” performed by José Molina Serrano. The song was played for Mission Specialist Greg Chamitoff. Aboard the shuttle are Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Ken Ham and Mission Specialists Karen Nyberg, Ron Garan, Mike Fossum, Chamitoff and Aki Hoshide, a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut.

Discovery will maneuver to within 600 feet of the station and perform the rendezvous pitch maneuver, the backflip allow the crew on board the station to take high resolution photographs of the shuttle’s thermal protection system. All three Expedition 17 crew members, Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Garrett Reisman, will watch the shuttle’s approach and docking from the Zvezda service module.

Volkov will use a camera with an 800 mm lens and Reisman will use a camera with a 400 mm lens to photograph Discovery as it performs the backflip. The photos will be sent to engineering teams to examine and ensure that the shuttle’s heat shield is in good shape.

Once Discovery has docked, the hatches will be opened and both crews will begin transferring the suits and tools for the spacewalks by Fossum and Garan. The first of the three spacewalks will be conducted on Tuesday, and the two astronauts will spend tonight inside the Quest airlock in preparation for that activity.

Chamitoff and Reisman will also exchange their custom-made Soyuz seatliners soon after the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened. This will mark Chamitoff's officially becoming a member of Expedition 17 and Reisman a member of Discovery’s crew.

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