Encyclopedia Astronautica
2006.07.07 - STS-121 MCC Status Report #06


After a successful docking to the International Space Station Thursday, the focus of the STS-121 shuttle mission now turns to unloading more than 7,000 lbs of cargo, continued shuttle inspections and preparations for the mission’s first spacewalk.

The first task of the day will be the relocation of the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) from the shuttle payload bay onto the station’s Unity Module. Mission Specialists Lisa Nowak, Stephanie Wilson, Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers will use the station robotic arm, Canadarm2, to maneuver the module, with help from pilot Mark Kelly.

Once successfully mated to its temporary position on the station, shuttle Commander Steve Lindsey and new Expedition 13 Flight Engineer Thomas Reiter will conduct leak checks and enter the pressurized cargo container. Wilson will lead the transfer activities, which are scheduled to continue until next Thursday.

Later, using the shuttle robotic arm and boom system, Kelly, Nowak and Wilson will conduct additional inspections of the orbiter’s thermal protection system. They will target a few specific areas on the shuttle’s nose cap that were missed on the initial scans, as well as two gap fillers that appear to be protruding from Discovery’s underside. They also intend to get a closer look at a piece of fabric near the shuttle nose.

Fossum and Sellers will make preparations for Saturday’s planned spacewalk. They will configure tools and the U.S. airlock Quest for the spacewalk. They will repair the station's mobile transporter and test the capability of the robotic arm boom extension to carry spacewalkers. The results of that test will help engineers understand the feasibility of using the arm for thermal system inspections and repairs if needed on later flights.

The crew has time set aside at the end of the day for a review of the spacewalk procedures.

The newly augmented space station crew, including Flight Engineer Jeff Williams and Commander Pavel Vinogradov, will work closely with the shuttle crew, assisting with transfer activities and robotic arm operations.

Some crewmembers will talk with journalists. Lindsey and Kelly will chat in the morning with radio reporters from CBS, Fox, ABC and National Public Radio. Toward the end of the day, the Expedition crew will speak with CNN, CBS News and the Associated Press.

The space shuttle crew awoke at 2:14 a.m. CDT by the Beatles’ "Good Day Sunshine" dedicated to first time spaceflyer Lisa Nowak. The Expedition 13 crew awoke 30 minutes later with their standard wake up tone.

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