Status Report

NASA STS-128 MCC Status Report #04 1 p.m. CDT Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
August 30, 2009
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NASA STS-128 MCC Status Report #04 1 p.m. CDT Sunday, Aug. 30, 2009

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

For the second time in history, thirteen people will be assembled on one spacecraft today to kick-off eight days of joint space operations. Space shuttle Discovery is on track for a docking with the International Space Station just after 8 p.m. CDT.

Discovery’s crew awoke at 12:30 p.m. with “Made To Love” performed by Toby Mac and played for Mission Specialist Nicole Stott.

The morning will focus on preparations for the rendezvous and docking to the station. Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Kevin Ford will perform a few final corrective jet firings to refine the orbiter’s path to the station and poise them for a rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM) under the station at 7 p.m. While Sturckow performs the “backflip” Expedition 20 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Mike Barratt will take photos from the station. Their photos will be reviewed by experts on the ground for evidence of damage to the shuttle tiles.

Once the RPM is complete, Sturckow will fly Discovery ahead of the space station and slowly back it in to dock to the station. Mating is expected to occur at 8:04 p.m. After hatch opening and a routine safety briefing, the two crews will start their joint operations.

Sturckow, Christer Fuglesang and Stott will begin transfer work, including the relocation of the space suits and tools that will be used for the three planned spacewalks. They also will swap Soyuz seatliners for Stott and Flight Engineer Tim Kopra. The two are rotating positions on their respective crews, and the installation of Stott’s seatliner in the Russian spacecraft will mark the start of Stott’s position on the station crew, and likewise, Kopra’s transition to the shuttle crew.

Meanwhile Ford, Kopra and mission specialists Pat Forrester and Jose Hernandez will start robotic activities. They’ll use the station robotic arm to remove the orbiter boom from its position on the payload bay sill and hand it off to the shuttle arm to provide additional clearance for the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module removal Monday.

Mission specialist Danny Olivas will install TV and photo equipment, while station crew members Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk and Frank De Winne exercise and continue other work on station.

The station crew will go to bed at 4 a.m., and Discovery’s crew 30 minutes later.

The next shuttle status report will be issued at the end of the crew’s workday, or earlier if events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.