The several hours of inspection began just after 6:00 a.m. when Mission Specialists Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson verified proper operation of the Space Shuttle’s robotic arm, then maneuvered it to lift the 50-foot-long OBSS from the starboard sill of the payload bay.
Assisted by Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialist Mike Fossum, Nowak and Wilson began a slow and steady examination of the reinforced carbon-carbon panels along the leading edge of Discovery’s starboard wing just before 8:30 a.m., looking for any evidence of damage.
The inspection using the Laser Dynamic Range Imager, Laser Camera System, and Intensified Television Camera on the end of the boom continued across the shuttle’s nose cap and port wing. After returning the OBSS to its berth, Nowak, Wilson and Fossum spent an hour using the cameras on the shuttle robot arm to scan the outside of the crew cabin.
While the survey proceeded, Mission Specialist Piers Sellers completed the setup of on board computers and cameras and Mission Specialist Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency prepared Discovery’s middeck for the planned transfer of supplies onto the International Space Station. The first item to be transferred after docking, scheduled for 9:52 a.m. Thursday, is Reiter’s customized seat liner for the Soyuz vehicle; that will make him an official member of the station’s Expedition 13 crew, and the first ISS crewmember who is neither an American nor a Russian.
Sellers and Fossum, who also installed the centerline camera in Discovery’s docking mechanism, completed a checkout of the spacesuits they will wear during scheduled spacewalks on Flight Days 5 and 7. The EVAs will evaluate the combination of ISS robot arm and OBSS as a work platform for astronauts repairing a damaged shuttle orbiter and restore the station’s Mobile Transporter to full operation to support continued station assembly.
On board ISS Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams prepared the digital cameras with 400mm and 800mm lenses they will use to take high-resolution photos of the shuttle's heat shield when it flies a nose over tail somersault at a range of 600 feet below the station. They also prepared Pressurized Mating Adapter 2, at the forward end of the U.S. laboratory Destiny, where Discovery will dock tomorrow morning.
The astronauts on Discovery were scheduled to be awakened at 2:38 a.m. CDT Thursday to being final preparations for the docking with the ISS.