Status Report

NASA STS-119 Report #18 Tuesday, March 24, 2009 – 7:30 a.m. CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
March 24, 2009
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NASA STS-119 Report #18  Tuesday, March 24, 2009 – 7:30 a.m. CDT

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

The crew members on board space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station get a breather from a busy timeline today as they near the end of their joint docked operations and prepare their vehicles for undocking Wednesday.

The crew’s wake-up song this morning, played for Mission Specialist John Phillips, was “Andrew’s Song” by Treestump, a band in which Phillips’ daughter plays.

The shuttle and station crew members will spend the first half of their day on supplies and equipment transfers between the two vehicles ahead of hatch closing and the scheduled undocking of Discovery at 2:53 p.m. CDT tomorrow. Shuttle Commander Lee Archambault and most of his shuttle crewmates have scheduled off-duty time this afternoon. Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke, Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata and Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus are scheduled for daily exercise this afternoon.

Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov has time set aside today to set up a work area in the Russian section of the station for a forthcoming visitor, Spaceflight Participant Charles Simonyi. He is due to arrive at the station Saturday in the company of Expedition 19 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Barratt. They’re due to launch at 6:49 a.m. Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and dock to the station at 8:14 a.m. Saturday.

The shuttle and station crew members are slated to get together to discuss the progress of the flight in a 35-minute joint news conference starting at 12:05 p.m. The astronauts and cosmonaut will respond to questions from reporters at several NASA centers around the country, including a contingent of Japanese reporters at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The news conference will be replayed with interpretation of the Japanese portion at 1 p.m.

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

SpaceRef staff editor.