The crews aboard Endeavour and International Space Station awoke this morning to begin their first full day of joint operations following yesterday’s docking between the two vehicles.
Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialist Linda Godwin will work together to remove the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module from Endeavour’s payload bay and attach it to the Unity node of the International Space Station. Over the course of about three hours, Kelly will use the shuttle’s robotic arm to gently lift Raffaello from the payload bay and maneuver it into place, securing it to the Earth-facing berthing port on the Unity module about 12:39 p.m. CST today.
As Kelly works to install the Raffaello module, the formal exchange of space station crews will occur as the Expedition Three crew – Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov, and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin – and the Expedition Four crew – Commander Yury Onufrienko, and Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch, exchange their customized seat liners in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. As each Expedition Four crew member’s seatliner is installed in the Soyuz and checked out, he officially becomes a resident of the space station with the Expedition Three crew member moving over to become a member of the Endeavour crew. Handover briefings between the crews will continue throughout docked operations.
Mission Specialist Dan Tani will focus his attention on transferring equipment from Endeavour to the space station while Commander Dom Gorie tends to vehicle operations.
The three commanders onboard – Gorie, Culbertson and Onufrienko – along with Endeavour’s Pilot Kelly will participate in media interviews at 3:44 p.m. CST. MSNBC, CBS News and WAGT-TV in Augusta, Georgia will have the opportunity to interview the crewmembers in the station’s Destiny laboratory.
Two payload bay experiments located in the Multiple Application Customized Hitchhiker-1 (MACH-1) facility have already completed 50% and 76% of their mission objectives. Those experiments are the Capillary Pumped Loop Experiment (CAPL) and the Prototype Synchrotron Radiation Detector (PSRD) respectively. The CAPL demonstrates a multiple evaporator capillary pumped loop system and the PSRD measures cosmic ray background data.
The next STS-108 mission status report will be issued at about 6 p.m. CST today or as events warrant.
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