Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.02.18 - STS-122 MCC Status Report #22


Space shuttle Atlantis is set to undock from the International Space Station at 3:27 a.m. after nine days of joint operations carrying the seven-member crew that successfully commissioned the European Space Agency's new Columbus science laboratory.

Today's wake-up song, played for STS-122 crew member Dan Tani, at 11:53 p.m. was 'Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World,' sung by Hawaiian-Japanese vocalist Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, accompanied by his ukulele.

With their delivery of the new laboratory, Atlantis' STS-122 astronauts will leave a larger space station and one with increased science capabilities. The Columbus Research Module adds nearly 1,000 cubic feet of habitable volume and affords room for 10 experiment racks, each an independent science lab.

Atlantis also left behind new Expedition 16 crew member Leopold Eyharts, 95 pounds of oxygen and nearly 1,400 pounds of water.

After undocking, Atlantis will move in front of the station to a range of 400 feet, and then Pilot Alan Poindexter will begin a full one lap fly around so his crewmates can get video and digital still imagery of Columbus docked to Harmony's right-side port.

When the shuttle again crosses directly in front of the station, Poindexter will fire the reaction control system jets to begin Atlantis' separation. He'll make the final separation jet firing at 5:10 a.m. to start the crew's trip home.

The crew will conduct a final inspection of the shuttle's thermal protection system using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System at 7:20 a.m. The crew will re-examine the reinforced carbon-carbon panels on both wings and the nose cap for any evidence of damage from orbital debris.

As the other crew members prepare for landing, Tani, who has been in space since his launch to the space station in October, is scheduled for exercise to help prepare his body to feel the pull of gravity again. Atlantis is targeted to land at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday at 8:07 a.m.

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