[sarex] STS-116 MCC Status Report #09
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Thu Dec 14 04:22:55 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
11:30 p.m. CST Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STATUS REPORT: STS-116-09
STS-116 MCC Status Report #09
The first phase of the electrical and thermal makeover of the
International Space Station was completed tonight as the outpost’s
newest solar arrays began rotating to follow the sun and ammonia flowed
into the station’s permanent cooling system for the first time.
Flight controllers sent commands to enable a large joint to begin
rotating around 7 p.m. CST, moving the solar arrays on the P4 truss like
a giant paddle wheel to track the sun as the station moves from daylight
to darkness in orbit. A few hours later, just before 10 p.m. CST, valves
were opened to allow 300 pounds of ammonia to flow into the truss
segments of the station and its radiators, the first step toward
providing permanent cooling for the avionics and electronics on the
Those vital activation tasks occurred after a day-long effort by
Discovery’s crew to retract the port array on the P6 solar array truss
structure, which was installed six years ago to provide early electrical
power for the station.
The crew spent six hours today sending as many as 45 commands in a
start-stop fashion to retract, then redeploy, then retract the balky
Venetian-blind like array panels in an effort to fold them into a narrow
blanket box at the base of the array. But guide wires that help fold the
arrays flat into the box apparently became snagged with only 17 out of
31 bays of the port array retracted. That was enough, however, to
provide enough clearance to enable the new P4 arrays to begin rotating
Mission managers met tonight to discuss various options for completing
the P6 array retraction, and decided to press ahead with the second of
three scheduled spacewalks Thursday by Bob Curbeam and Christer
Fuglesang during which they will rewire the first pair of electrical
channels for the permanent power system on the station.
Managers will convene over the next few days to determine whether
additional spacewalk activity by Discovery’s crew will be scheduled to
complete the retraction of the P6 array, although they have concluded
that the array is in a safe configuration for the remainder of this
mission, Discovery’s undocking next week, and if necessary, for the
arrival of a new Russian Progress resupply ship in January should a
spacewalking task be added to the Expedition 14 crew following
Late tonight, to gather data for a future decision, Mission Control
asked Discovery Commander Mark Polansky and Station Commander Mike
Lopez-Alegria to consider which flight day would be best for a fourth
spacewalk if one is ordered to complete the P6 array retraction.
Polansky and Lopez-Alegria asked for more details about what such a
spacewalk would entail before offering their thoughts.
With the station’s new solar arrays rotating and its permanent cooling
system operating as advertised, Discovery’s crew members will begin an
eight-hour sleep period at 1:17 a.m. CST and will wake up Thursday at
9:17 a.m. CST to begin preparations for the second spacewalk of the
flight. The station crew members will be awakened thirty minutes later.
The next STS-116 status report will be issued Thursday morning after
crew wakeup, or earlier if events warrant.
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