Just before Commander Terry Wilcutt and his crew went to bed earlier today, Mission Control radioed up the news that mission managers had given their approval to an additional day of docked operations for Atlantis' crew and their efforts aboard the International Space Station. The STS-106 crew will now depart the station late Sunday evening just after 10:30 p.m. Central.
The additional mission day will give Wilcutt, Pilot Scott Altman and Mission Specialists Ed Lu, Rick Mastracchio, Dan Burbank, Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov more time to prepare the orbiting facility for the arrival of the first station crew when it docks to the station in early November.
The STS-106 crew was awakened at 6:46 p.m. to begin its fourth day of docked operations. This morning's wake up call - "Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison - was played for Mastracchio at the request of his wife.
Some of the major activities for the crew today will include the installation of three batteries inside the Zvezda Service Module. In order to reduce it's weight for launch, Zvezda was launched with only five of its eight batteries in place. The STS-106 crew also will complete the battery replacement work in the Zarya Control Module begun by the STS-101 crew back in May by installing two new batteries to go along with the four installed earlier this year.
In and around the battery work in Zvezda and Zarya, the transfer of hardware and supplies from both Atlantis and the Russian Progress supply vehicle will continue with what will now be a full week of docked operations.
Early tomorrow morning as his work day is coming to an end, Wilcutt, a native of Kentucky, will take some time to conduct interviews with three Kentucky television stations about the progress of the flight. The trio of interviews is scheduled to begin at 6:51 a.m. Central.
The next mission status report will be issued about 7 a.m. Wednesday or sooner if events warrant.
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