“Big Boy Toys” by Aaron Tippin, sounded on board the orbiter at 9:10 a.m. CDT, played for Commander Rick Sturckow. The crew was given an extra half hour to sleep this morning after being kept up late to finish downloading in-cabin video.
Today Pilot Lee Archambault and Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester and Steven Swanson will use the shuttle’s robotic arm to unberth the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) for a detailed examination of Atlantis’ thermal protection system. Last night they took a closer look at an area of insulation blanket on the port orbital maneuvering system pod that was seen to be pulled away from adjacent thermal tiles during the robot arm checkout late Friday.
In parallel to today's inspection, Mission Specialists John “Danny” Olivas, Jim Reilly and Clayton Anderson will conduct a thorough checkout of the spacesuits to be worn during the three spacewalks planned for the docked operations at ISS and prepare them and other EVA hardware for transfer to the station.
Later, in preparation for docking, the crew will install a centerline camera, extend the outer ring of the Orbiter Docking System, and check out rendezvous tools. Sturckow is scheduled to fly Atlantis to a docking with ISS at 2:36 p.m. Sunday.
After hatch opening and welcome, Anderson will transfer his seat liner into the Soyuz spacecraft docked to the Zarya module and officially become a member of the station’s Expedition 15 crew, joining Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov. Flight Engineer Suni Williams, who’s been in space since her launch last Dec. 9, joins the shuttle crew and will return to Earth with them.
Delivery of the S3/S4 Truss segment, which includes a new pair of giant solar arrays for power generation, begins shortly after docking tomorrow when the shuttle robot arm is used to lift it from the payload bay and hand it off to the station’s robotic manipulator. Installation of the truss segments occurs Monday in conjunction with the first spacewalk of the mission, conducted by Reilly and Olivas.