A week and a half removed from the most recent shuttle visit to the International Space Station, the Expedition Two crew continues preparations for ending its mission aboard the complex as Discovery is readied for the STS-105 launch a week from tomorrow at 4:38 p.m. Central time to deliver supplies, logistics and the next crew to live aboard the orbiting outpost.
Almost immediately after Atlantis departed following its mission to install an addition on the home in space, station Commander Yury Usachev, and Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms began unpacking and stowing supplies delivered by Atlantis, while at the same time beginning to prepare for the arrival of their replacement crew.
The Expedition Three crew consists of Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin. The three will be delivered aboard Discovery by its crew of Commander Scott Horowitz, Pilot Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialists Dan Barry and Pat Forrester.
The STS-105 and Expedition Three crews will travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday and the countdown begins Monday.
While Discovery’s countdown to launch to the ISS is set to begin, half a world away at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the fifth Progress supply craft is being readied for launch Aug. 21 followed Sept. 15 by the launch of the next station component – a Russian docking compartment named Pirs, the Russian word for pier.
Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev, Voss and Helms also continue to oversee a variety of science investigations while packing for the trip home. Oversight from the ground is handled by the Payload Operations Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, except for the Human Research Facility, which is monitored and controlled from the Telescience Support Center (TSC) at the Johnson Space Center, Houston. For details on ISS science, visit the following website:
The International Space Station (ISS) is orbiting in excellent shape at an altitude averaging 240 miles (385 km). Sighting opportunities from the ground for many cities around the world can be viewed at:
The next ISS status report will be issued Wednesday, Aug. 8.
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