[sarex] STATUS REPORT: STS-115-01
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Sun Sep 10 04:56:38 PDT 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
2 p.m. CDT, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STATUS REPORT: STS-115-01
STS-115 MCC Status Report #01
Atlantis launched into an almost clear Florida sky this morning for an
11-day mission that marks the return to assembly of the International
Today marks the first time in almost four years that a major new space
station component has been launched. Atlantis' mission begins a series
of complex station expansion missions that will be among the most
challenging spaceflights in history.
Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson and Mission Specialists
Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean,
a Canadian Space Agency astronaut, lifted off at 10:15 a.m. CDT. The
launch followed a flawless countdown.
During the climb to orbit, Mission Control asked the crew to reconfigure
a cooling system that apparently had ice build up. The reconfiguration
cleared the system, called the Flash Evaporator System, and it operated
normally. Temporary ice in that cooling unit is not uncommon and has
occurred on previous missions.
Moments after main engine cutoff, 8.5 minutes after liftoff, Tanner and
MacLean used handheld video and digital still cameras to document the
external tank after it separated from the shuttle. That imagery, as well
as imagery gathered by cameras in the shuttle’s umbilical well where the
tank was connected, will be transmitted to the ground for review.
As Atlantis launched, the space station was 220 miles above the northern
Atlantic Ocean, between Greenland and Iceland. Aboard the outpost are
Expedition 13 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, a Russian cosmonaut; Flight
Engineer and NASA Science Officer Jeff Williams; and Flight Engineer
Thomas Reiter of the European Space Agency. They watched the launch via
a live television transmission from Houston. Atlantis is set to dock to
the complex at about 5:46 a.m. CDT Sept. 11.
Atlantis' crew will install the 17.5-ton, bus-sized P3/P4 integrated
truss section to the station that includes a second set of solar arrays,
batteries and associated electronics. The addition eventually will
double the station’s capability to generate power from sunlight. The
girder-like P3/P4 truss is 45 feet long.
Three spacewalks are planned to install the truss, deploy the arrays and
prepare them for operation. Two teams, Tanner and Piper and Burbank and
MacLean, will conduct the spacewalks.
During the mission, a thorough inspection will be performed in orbit of
Atlantis' heat shield as has been done on the past two shuttle flights.
Atlantis' time at the station could be extended by one or two days if
needed to allow more time to complete those inspections or other
operations. A second inspection of the heat shield is planned after
Atlantis departs the station near the end of the flight to ensure it
remains in good condition for landing.
When Atlantis arrives at the station, it will mark only the second time
that as many as four of the station's five international partners have
been represented onboard.
STS-115 is the 116th space shuttle mission and the 19th to visit the
station. Atlantis is making its 27th flight and sixth trip to the station.
Atlantis’ crew begins an eight-hour sleep period at 4:15 p.m. CDT. The
astronauts will awaken at 12:15 a.m. CDT Sunday to begin their first
full day in orbit.
The next STS-115 status report will be issued shortly after crew wakeup,
or earlier if events warrant.
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