Encyclopedia Astronautica
2006.12.10 - STS-116 MCC Status Report 02


The Space Shuttle Discovery crew, Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Bill Oefelein, and Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Joan Higginbotham, Bob Curbeam, Sunita Williams and Christer Fuglesang, are beginning a busy first full day in space.

The astronauts will use the shuttle’s robotic arm to unberth the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) for a detailed examination of Discovery’s thermal protection system. Once the reinforced carbon-carbon on the wings’ leading edges and Discovery’s nose have been inspected, they will stow the boom and use the robotic arm to inspect Discovery’s crew cabin and orbital maneuvering system pods on either side of the tail.

In preparation for docking, the astronauts will install a centerline camera and extend the outer ring of the Orbiter Docking System. They also will check out rendezvous tools. Docking is scheduled for a little after 4 p.m. Monday. After hatch opening and welcome, Williams will become a member of the station’s Expedition 14 crew and stay for the first half of Expedition 15. Thomas Reiter, who joined Expedition 13 at its midway point and stayed for the first part of Expedition 14, will come home aboard Discovery.

Discovery’s astronauts also will check out the spacesuits to be used on three spacewalks outside the International Space Station. Curbeam and Fuglesang will do the first two spacewalks, and Williams will join Curbeam for the third. The primary goal of the first spacewalk is to install the P5 segment of the station’s main truss. The two subsequent spacewalks will focus on rewiring of the station’s electrical system, switching it from a temporary configuration to its permanent power grid.

Discovery’s crew was awakened at 9:48 a.m. Sunday with "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles, played for Polansky. The station crew, Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, flight engineers Mikhail Tyurin and Reiter, got their regular wakeup tone at 9:20 a.m.

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