Status Report

NASA STS-119 Report #16 Monday, March 23, 2009 – 9:00 a.m. CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
March 23, 2009
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NASA STS-119 Report #16  Monday, March 23, 2009 – 9:00 a.m. CDT

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Readying the International Space Station for a larger crew by moving an equipment cart and completing the deployment of a cargo carrier will be the hub of today’s activities outside the station for the third and final spacewalk by Discovery’s astronauts.

Mission Specialists Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold, each performing their second spacewalk, are expected to exit the station at 10:43 this morning. They plan to relocate a cart that moves along the rails of the space station’s truss, attempt to complete the deployment of a cargo carrier that exhibited a balky pin during the second spacewalk Saturday and finish swapping electrical relays to the station’s gyroscopes.

Arnold also will lubricate one of the two end effectors of the space station’s robotic arm, duplicating the work done by spacewalker Shane Kimbrough on the opposite end during the STS-126 mission.

After spending much of Sunday working on the Urine Processing Assembly, Station Commander Mike Fincke was successful in getting the system up and running on a “wet spin,” the processing of the unit’s first sample, before retiring for the evening. The UPA continued working through the evening and completed its first cycle at 1:35 a.m.

The urine recycling unit is part of an overall system designed to regenerate wastewater and urine into drinking water that will allow the complex to increase its crew size from three to six. Samples of the water will be returned aboard Discovery.

Discovery crew members, Commander Lee Archambault, Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Acaba, Arnold, Steve Swanson, John Phillips and Sandra Magnus, were awakened at 5:43 a.m. CDT with the song “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens” by Louis Jordan. It was played for Swanson.

Discovery’s crew is scheduled to go to bed at 9:13 p.m. today and be awakened at 5:13 a.m. Tuesday.

The next status report will be issued Monday evening or earlier if events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.