Encyclopedia Astronautica
2007.06.15 - STS-117 MCC Status Report #14


Astronauts on space shuttle Atlantis are only hours from the week’s third spacewalk out of the International Space Station, a 6½-hour excursion to repair a thermal blanket on the orbiter and assist in folding up a solar array on the station.

The crew’s wakeup call came at 7:41 a.m. CDT with the song “Radar Love” by Golden Earring, played for Mission Specialist Steve Swanson.

Spacewalkers Jim Reilly and John “Danny” Olivas spent the night in the Quest airlock at reduced atmospheric pressure as part of the spacewalk preparation protocol. They’ll go out the door at 12:38 p.m. and Reilly will help Olivas set up to make repairs to a thermal blanket on Atlantis’ port orbital maneuvering system pod that was damaged during the shuttle’s climb to orbit last week.

Supported by the shuttle robot arm, Olivas will push the turned up portion of the thermal blanket back into position, use a medical stapler to secure the layers of the blanket, and pin it in place against adjacent thermal tile.

At the same time, Reilly will install a hydrogen vent valve in the forward section of the Destiny laboratory for a new oxygen generating system being installed there. The system separates water into its chemical components of oxygen and hydrogen, venting the hydrogen overboard and supplying the oxygen for the station crewmembers to breathe.

When they complete those tasks the spacewalkers will move to the top of the P6 Truss to assist in retraction of the remaining 15 mast bays of the starboard side solar array wing. Armed with tools specially designed for the task, Reilly and Olivas will keep the solar panels folding properly and unstick any stuck grommets on guide wires as their crewmates command the mast to retract. If they’re able to get the array completely retracted, Reilly and Olivas have a list of other jobs to do before ending the spacewalk.

Russian flight controllers are still troubleshooting a problem with Russian computers that provide backup attitude control and orbital attitude adjustment for the station’s control moment gyroscopes. Commands were sent early this morning to start the computers but only one lane of the central computer booted up; all three lanes of both the central computer and the terminal computer were deactivated just before 5 a.m. CDT. The current plan is to leave them turned off today while the teams in the Russian Mission Control Center compare notes and develop a forward plan of action. The station remains in a safe configuration, with attitude control handled by its control moment gyroscopes.

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