Status Report

NASA STS-128 MCC Status Report #08 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009

By SpaceRef Editor
September 2, 2009
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NASA STS-128 MCC Status Report #08 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

HOUSTON – The International Space Station and space shuttle Discovery crews shift their focus to spacewalking today, as they prepare for the first excursion of the mission. Transfer work continues as well, including moving a new treadmill to its home in space.

Their day started at noon with “Indiana, Our Indiana,” performed by the Indiana University Band, for Pilot Kevin Ford, born in Indiana and on his first spaceflight.

Mission Specialist Danny Olivas and Expedition 20 Flight Engineer Nicole Stott will venture out the station door at 4:49 p.m. CDT to remove an Ammonia Tank Assembly from the station’s truss. They will stow the tank, which has neared the end of its usefulness, on the station robotic arm. It will remain there until the spacewalk Thursday when a new tank is installed and the old one is stored in the shuttle’s payload bay.

Next, Stott will ride the robotic arm to meet Olivas on the Columbus laboratory to remove two exposure experiments. They will remove the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF), a European Space Agency experiment suite. Once detached from the station, Olivas will hand EuTEF to Stott, who will carry it to the payload bay.

Stott will step off the arm and meet Olivas back on Columbus where they will proceed to their final task – removal of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE). Olivas will detach two containers, passing the first to Stott, and they will install the cases in the payload bay for return to Earth.

During the spacewalk, shuttle commander Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialist Pat Forrester will guide the spacewalkers through the procedures. Ford and Flight Engineer Bob Thirsk will operate the station’s robotic arm.

Meanwhile, mission specialists Jose Hernandez, Tim Kopra and Christer Fuglesang and Flight Engineer Mike Barratt will continue unloading the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module. The crew got a head-start on unpacking yesterday, and plans to transfer an air revitalization system, a new crew quarters compartment and a new treadmill.

The treadmill, dubbed the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT), was named after comedian Stephen Colbert, of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” took an interest in a recent NASA naming poll and urged his followers to post the name “Colbert.” The treadmill will be the second on the station.

The next shuttle status report will be issued at the end of the crew’s workday, or earlier if events warrant. The crew is due to go to sleep about 3:29 a.m. Wednesday.

SpaceRef staff editor.