With Space Shuttle Atlantis' STS-98 mission delayed three weeks, the Expedition One crew aboard the International Space Station will continue to review documents and procedures in preparation for the arrival of the station's newest module - the U.S. Laboratory Destiny.
Commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev spent the last week reinstating the use of all eight batteries inside the Zvezda module by replacing a faulty current converter unit.
Meanwhile the crew pressurized and entered the shuttle docking port that will be repositioned on the next mission and moved an air duct that was obstructing the full motion of one of four berthing latches. Once the duct was moved, the latch was cycled without problem and is ready for the removal of the docking port in preparation for the installation of Destiny. The docking port then will be relocated to the opposite end of the laboratory.
For the next week, the Expedition One crew will continue to conduct a thorough inventory of items onboard and stow equipment and supplies. The three crew members also will review documentation for the laboratory's activation, practice for an emergency departure similar to building fire drills, and take part in conferences with various technical specialists.
Shuttle managers ordered the rollback of Atlantis off the launch pad so that inspections can be made to cables inside a tray on the Solid Rocket Boosters. Destiny was removed from the payload bay today and will remain in a protective room on the launch pad until Atlantis returns next week.
Launch of Atlantis on the 102nd shuttle flight now is scheduled for no earlier than Feb. 6. Liftoff is tentatively set for 5:37 p.m. CST (2337 GMT). Docking to the station will occur just after Noon on Feb. 8.
Destiny will provide the orbiting outpost with its first science facility. Its attachment and activation is the highlight of the 11-day mission along with the relocation of the shuttle docking port. Three space walks will complete final connections between the laboratory, docking port and the station. The third space walk marks the 100th in U.S. Space walk history and the 60th based out of the shuttle.
Atlantis' five astronauts, Commander Ken Cockrell, Pilot Mark Polansky and Mission Specialists Bob Curbeam, Marsha Ivins and Tom Jones will spend the next two weeks reviewing their official Flight Data File before flying to the Kennedy Space Center for the final days of the countdown.
International Space Station systems are in excellent shape orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of approximately 230 statute miles.
The next Expedition One status report will be issued on Wednesday, Jan. 24, or sooner, if developments warrant.
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