Wilcutt and his crew will open the doors to the recently expanded International Space Station later this evening as the crew begins the transfer of more than 3 tons of hardware and supplies from Space Shuttle Atlantis and a Russian Progress supply ship. Atlantis' astronauts will be the first individuals to see the interior of the Russian Zvezda Service Module since it was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan back on July 12.
A total of 12 different hatches will be opened as Wilcutt and his crew travel through the different sections of the station. The first station hatch, located on Primary Mating Adapter-2 (PMA-2) is expected to be opened about 10 p.m. Central. The crew should enter the Unity Node about 10:45 p.m. The hatch to the Zarya Control Module will be opened just after midnight. The hatch to the Zvezda module, which will be the living quarters for the first station crew when they are launched later this year, should be opened around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Even before all the hatches are opened, the STS-106 crew will begin their transfer activities as items from Atlantis are moved into the Unity node. When the final hatch, the one between the rear portion of Zvezda and a Russian Progress supply vehicle which docked to the station on August 8, is opened, the crew will begin transferring items from the Progress to the station.
One of the major objectives in tonight's activities inside the station will be the removal of hardware that is no longer needed onboard the orbiting facility. Launch restraint hardware in Zvezda, the Zarya and Progress docking probe along with manual docking system hardware in Zarya will all be removed and brought back to Earth.
The crew will begin an eight hour sleep period at 10:46 a.m. on Tuesday and will be awakened at 6:46 p.m. Tuesday evening to continue their station transfer activities.