Status Report

NASA STS-135 Report #20 Sunday, July 17, 2011 – 9:30 p.m. CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2011
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NASA STS-135 Report #20 Sunday, July 17, 2011 – 9:30 p.m. CDT

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

HOUSTON – The STS-135 flight day 11 wakeup call came from Houston, as always, but in a broader sense of the word than usual.

“Good morning, Atlantis, from all of us at the Johnson Space Center!” chorused an auditorium-full of Johnson employees in a message recorded before Atlantis’ launch. “Have a great mission!”

Johnson Space Center is home not only to the astronaut corps, but also Mission Control and the Space Shuttle Program, itself.

The message was preceded in the 9:29 p.m. wakeup call by Keith Urban’s “Days Go By,” which was chosen by Mission Specialist Rex Walheim.

Walheim and his fellow crew members – Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus – are scheduled to close the hatches between the International Space Station and a space shuttle for the last time today, at 8:19 a.m. But before they do that, they’ll pack up the last of the cargo to come home from the station on the shuttle’s middeck and move the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module back into place inside the shuttle’s cargo bay.

The crew finished packing Raffaello on flight day 10, and now it’s just a matter of getting it – with its 5,666 pounds of returning cargo – back in place for the trip home. When it’s unpacked back on Earth, multipurpose logistic modules will have returned 20 tons of supplies and equipment to Earth, and carried another 50 tons into space since their first mission, STS-102 in 2002.

After returning to the space shuttle for the remainder of the mission, the crew will prepare for Monday’s undocking from the space station, checking out the tools they’ll use for that activity and setting up a camera inside the shuttle hatch.

The next status report will be issued at the end of the crew’s day or earlier if warranted.

SpaceRef staff editor.