[sarex] STS-116 MCC Status Report #12
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Fri Dec 15 20:25:28 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
9:30 a.m. CST Friday, Dec. 15, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STATUS REPORT: STS-116-12
STS-116 MCC Status Report #12
With half the International Space Station’s electrical system rewired,
the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery gets half a day off today before
they finish the job during a third spacewalk set for Saturday.
Mission Specialists Bob Curbeam and Christer Fuglesang rewired channels
2 and 3 of the station’s power system in a five-hour spacewalk Thursday.
A similar task will be done with the two remaining station power
channels, channels 1 and 4, on Saturday. However, for Saturday's
spacewalk, Curbeam will be joined by International Space Station Flight
Engineer Suni Williams for the outside work while Fuglesang will
coordinate activities inside the spacecraft. Once the third spacewalk is
complete, power will be fully online from the station’s P4 Truss solar
array wings, which were installed in September. At that point, the
station's power system will be ready for additional expansion with more
arrays and new laboratories to be delivered next year.
Discovery Commander Mark Polansky and his crew—Pilot Bill Oefelein and
Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Joan Higginbotham, Thomas Reiter,
Curbeam and Fuglesang—were awakened at about 8:52 a.m. CST to the song
"Low Rider," performed by War, and played for Oefelein.
Discovery and the station are in good condition. Discovery is currently
maintaining the orientation of both the station and shuttle using the
shuttle steering jets, a function it began performing during
preparations for the spacewalk on Thursday. Control of the station's
orientation was transferred to Discovery on Thursday as part of the
normal preparations of the station's power system for the rewiring job.
The station usually uses its own control moment gyroscopes to maintain
its orientation, without having to use fuel.
Originally, control of the station's orientation was to be transferred
back to those gyroscopes late Thursday after the spacewalk tasks were
completed and station systems powered up. However, problems were
experienced as that transfer was attempted. Flight controllers believe
the problems were due to a higher than usual amount of atmospheric drag
currently experienced by the station due to recent solar activity. They
may attempt to transfer control of orientation back to the station again
today, although the shuttle thrusters can be used if needed for that
purpose through the rest of the mission. If necessary, the station has
thrusters that can be used for orientation control as well.
During the first half of their day, the astronauts will transfer
supplies and equipment between the station and shuttle. At 1:07 p.m. the
two European Space Agency astronauts, Fuglesang of Sweden and Reiter of
Germany, will participate in a VIP call from Swedish dignitaries. At
2:47 p.m. all 10 astronauts and cosmonauts on the shuttle/station
complex will conduct a news conference with reporters in the U.S. and
Europe. The shuttle crew members will be off duty the last half of the day.
Station Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and Flight Engineer Mikhail
Tyurin are scheduled for interviews with KNX Radio, Los Angeles, and
National Public Radio at 4:27 p.m. CST.
Engineers investigating the difficulties with fully retracting the
port-side solar array wing of the station's P6 Truss believe a guide
wire may be snagged in a swiveling grommet on one of the array's panels.
The snag could be keeping the panels from folding up completely. The
array remains almost halfway retracted as it has been since Wednesday.
Early this morning, station flight controllers commanded the array
through a series of "wiggle" tests, swiveling the wing 10 degrees at a
time repeatedly to see if that would help the situation. They are
continuing to evaluate the results of those tests and to investigate
options for further work with the array, including the potential to add
a spacewalk to latter part of this mission. Options also may include
some additional troubleshooting commanding that could be performed with
the array during the crew's day today.
The next STS-116 status report will be issued Friday evening or earlier
if events warrant.
More information about the SAREX