[sarex] STS-116 MCC Status Report #14
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Sat Dec 16 10:56:36 PST 2006
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
10 a.m. CST Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STATUS REPORT: STS-116-14
STS-116 MCC Status Report #14
The third spacewalk of Discovery’s mission to the International Space
Station is scheduled to begin at 1:37 p.m. CST to complete the rewiring
of the orbiting laboratory’s power system.
Discovery Mission Specialist Bob Curbeam and station Flight Engineer
Sunita Williams will venture outside to finish the job started on
Thursday’s spacewalk. Station flight controllers will begin commanding
about half of the station's systems to power down at about 10:52 a.m.
CST. After Mission Control has cut the power on the two station
electrical channels that are the subject of today's work, channels 1 and
4, the spacewalkers will rewire them. Completing that task will put the
station power system in its permanent configuration, ready for more
solar arrays and laboratories to be added in 2007.
Curbeam and Mission Specialist Christer Fuglesang, a European Space
Agency astronaut from Sweden, completed a rewiring job on the other two
station power channels, channels 2 and 3, during a spacewalk on Thursday.
Additional tasks for today’s spacewalk include relocating debris shield
panels from the station’s interior to a storage point outside. The
panels, designed to increase the protection of the station's Zvezda
living quarters module, will be installed during a later spacewalk by
the station crew. Curbeam and Williams also will install a robotic arm
Today's spacewalk is planned to be completed at 7:47 p.m. CST, but can
go longer if needed. If time allows after all originally planned tasks
are completed during the excursion, one or both of the spacewalkers will
move up the P6 truss atop the station to the base of its partially
retracted port solar wing. From that point, they will push on a blanket
box into which the array has been folding to attempt to jiggle
apparently misaligned guide wires and grommets into place. The result
may allow additional retraction of the array.
Meanwhile, managers are continuing to evaluate a possible fourth
spacewalk that would take place on Monday to attempt to fully retract
the array. However, no decision has been made regarding whether that
spacewalk will be pursued. To prepare for that possibility, the
spacewalkers today may bring several tools inside the station that would
need to be prepared with insulating tape for use on a fourth spacewalk.
The transfer of equipment and supplies between the two spacecraft
continues. Late Friday, the crews were slightly ahead of the transfer
Inside the station today, station Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and
Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin will replace a component of the orbiting
laboratory’s carbon dioxide removal system to restore it to full operation.
The orientation of the shuttle and station is again being controlled by
the station's control moment gyroscopes. Small shuttle thrusters had
been controlling the orientation of the spacecraft since Friday, when an
initial attempt to switch to gyroscope control was not successful. A
second attempt Saturday worked. Flight controllers believe the
difficulty was due to increased atmospheric drag resulting from recent
Shuttle crew members Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Bill Oefelein and
Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Curbeam, Fuglesang, Joan
Higginbotham and Thomas Reiter, along with Williams in the airlock
campout, were awakened at 8:52 a.m. CST to composer Aaron Copeland’s
“Fanfare for the Common Man,” performed by the London Philharmonic
Orchestra. The music was played for Patrick.
The next STS-116 status report will be issued Saturday evening or
earlier if events warrant.
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