Status Report

NASA STS-134 Report #08 9:30 p.m. CDT Thursday, May 19, 2011

By SpaceRef Editor
May 19, 2011
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NASA STS-134 Report #08  9:30 p.m. CDT Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

HOUSTON – Mission Specialists Andrew Feustel and Greg Chamitoff are set to begin the first of four spacewalks planned for the STS-134 mission at 2:16 a.m. Friday.

Mission Specialist Mike Fincke will serve as spacewalk’s internal coach, guiding Feustel and Chamitoff through tasks that will include retrieving a long-duration materials exposure package and installing another on an International Space Station pallet. They’ll also set up a light on one of the station’s handcarts, install a jumper hose for venting ammonia from a station cooling loop, and install a wireless antenna outside the Destiny Laboratory.

The shuttle crew was awakened at 9:30 p.m. Thursday with the song “We All Do What We Can Do. 0/00 The song was sent up for Fincke by shuttle thermal protection system engineer Dan Keenan, and Kenny McLaughlin, a Kennedy Space Center launch pad engineer. The two shuttle workers created the song to honor those who have helped make the space program a success.

Feustel and Chamitoff “camped out” in the Quest airlock overnight, helping acclimate their bodies to the lower atmospheric pressure of their space suits, reducing the possibility of decompression sickness by purging nitrogen bubbles from their bloodstreams.

Scientists on the ground completed activation of the 15,251-pound Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS-2) and began collecting data about cosmic particles from its new home atop the starboard truss of the space station. AMS-2 is expected to gather data for the life of the space station. Endeavour Pilot Greg Johnson and Chamitoff used Canadarm2 to install the instrument Thursday, accepting a hand-off from shuttle arm operators Feustel and Mission Specialist Roberto Vittori, who lifted AMS-2 out of Endeavour’s cargo bay.

Also Thursday, Expedition 27 crew members Dmitry Kondratyev, Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman completed a Soyuz drill in preparation for their planned departure Monday. American and Russian flight control teams are preparing a plan to collect images of shuttle-station complex after they undock, although mission managers have not yet given final approval for the activity.

Experts on the ground also continue to analyze images taken of Endeavour’s thermal protection system as they consider whether additional inspection is required before the shuttle undocks. Saturday’s schedule is being developed with the assumption that the added scrutiny will be needed, but an official decision is not expected until Friday.

The next status report will be issued after the spacewalk, or earlier if warranted.

SpaceRef staff editor.