The astronauts also made preparations for the second spacewalk during joint docked operations, scheduled for Monday morning.
Leonardo, the Multipurpose Logistics Module that rode to orbit in the shuttle payload bay, launched with more than 7,400 pounds of new space station equipment and crew supplies. Today’s operations included transfer of a new heat exchanger for the Common Cabin Air Assembly, a component of the ISS environmental control system which collects condensate out of the air, and a spare U.S. spacewalk suit and emergency jet pack.
As they deliver the module’s contents onto the station, the astronauts are also refilling Leonardo with almost 4,400 pounds of material no longer needed on the station. That includes experiment samples, trash, and broken equipment.
For several hours today Mission Specialists Piers Sellers and Mike Fossum refreshed the systems of their spacesuits and prepared tools and equipment for tomorrow’s EVA. During that planned six and a half hour excursion, scheduled to begin at 7:13 a.m. CDT, they will deliver a spare cooling system Pump Module to a stowage platform and replace the Trailing Umbilical System on the nadir side of the S0 Truss. That replacement will give the station’s Mobile Transporter rail car a redundant pair of power, data and video cables so it can translate along the truss in support of future station assembly tasks.
Earlier today, Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Mark Kelly, and Mission Specialists Lisa Nowak, Stephanie Wilson, Fossum and Sellers joined Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Jeff Williams and Thomas Reiter to answer questions about their missions from reporters at NASA centers and at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany.
Late today John Shannon, the deputy shuttle program manager and chairman of the STS-121 Mission Management Team, reported that mission managers cleared Discovery for its return to Earth, declaring that the shuttle’s heat shield was free from any damage. The crew will conduct another inspection later in the mission looking for any other evidence of damage done by orbital debris prior to landing.
Discovery’s crew began its sleep period just after 5 p.m. CDT and will be awakened at 1:08 a.m. CDT Monday to begin the seventh day of the flight.