Status Report

STS-102 Status Report #21 – 18 Mar 2001 – 8:00 AM CST

By SpaceRef Editor
March 18, 2001
Filed under ,

Carrying nearly one ton of trash and excess equipment, along with personal items belonging to the returning
Expedition One crew, the Leonardo cargo carrier was detached from its port on the International Space
Station early this morning and gently placed back in Discovery’s payload bay by Mission Specialist Andy

After crewmate Paul Richards released the 16 bolts and associated latches holding the Multi-Purpose
Logistics Module to its Common Berthing Mechanism port, Thomas received a “go” to begin moving the
module with the shuttle’s 50-foot-long robotic arm about 4:40 a.m. CST. About 90 minutes later, at 6:08
a.m., the Italian-built module was securely latched back in its its cargo bay cradle, ready for return to Earth.

Leonardo’s unberthing occurred about four hours later than originally scheduled, due in part to a leaky
vacuum access hose used to depressurize the small vestibule between Unity and Leonardo. The hatches
between the two modules were closed and the vestibule was depressurized, but after a 15 minute leak
check period, ground controllers noted pressure in the vestibule was not at expected levels. Expedition Two
flight engineer Jim Voss reported he had found – and tightened – a loose fitting on one of those hoses.
The crew was then asked to repeat the depressurization procedure, a process that takes approximately 45
minutes, to verify good seals between the modules. With that action complete, Thomas was given a go to
proceed with the unberthing of Leonardo.

Also overnight, Commander Jim Wetherbee and Pilot Jim Kelly verified the performance of Discovery’s
general purpose computers. Ground analysis indicated that Saturday morning’s quick power-up of two of
those computers would not affect their performance, but flight controllers elected to perform the on-orbit
procedure to validate the software load.

Discovery’s crew is scheduled to begin its eight-hour sleep period at 8:42 a.m., waking at 4:42 p.m. The
Expedition Two crew will go to sleep one hour later, at 9:42 a.m. and will awaken at 5:42 p.m. The hatches
between Discovery and the ISS will be closed for the final time on this mission at 7:37 p.m. today following a
final farewell between the STS-102 crew and the two Expedition crews. Discovery is set to undock from the
ISS at 10:32 p.m. today, concluding a 136-day stay on board the station for its first resident crew –
Commander Bill Shepherd, Soyuz Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev.

The next mission status report will be issued Sunday evening.

SpaceRef staff editor.