[sarex] Docking Nears for Atlantis, Space Station
azrowe80 at verizon.net
Sun Jun 10 12:16:53 PDT 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Docking Nears for Atlantis, Space Station*
Image above: A video camera aboard the International Space Station
image of a plume surrounding Atlantis as it fired its engines
to refine its approach to the station. Image credit: NASA TV
TO VIEW IMAGE GO
+ View Launch Day Photo Gallery
+ View Launch Day Video Gallery
Space Shuttle Atlantis is close to reaching its destination, the
International Space Station. Docking is slated to take place at 3:38
p.m. EDT today. Atlantis’ arrival will set the stage for the next phase
of the station’s on-orbit construction and a change in the Expedition 15
Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Lee Archambault fired Atlantis’
engines at 1 p.m. to refine the approach to the station. About an hour
before docking, Sturckow and Archambault will guide the shuttle through
a back-flip maneuver that will allow the Expedition 15 crew to
photograph the shuttle’s protective heat-resistant tiles. The imagery
will be sent to engineers on Earth for analysis.
After Atlantis docks, the shuttle and station crews will conduct
pressure and leak checks before the hatches between the spacecraft open
at 4:58. The two crews will greet each other and quickly begin joint
One of the first major tasks is the station crew rotation. STS-117
Mission Specialist Clayton Anderson will switch places with Expedition
15 Flight Engineer Suni Williams, who will be wrapping up a six-month
tour of duty as an Expedition crew member. Anderson is scheduled to stay
on the station until he returns to Earth with STS-120 later this year.
Also, preparations will begin today for Monday’s installation of the
Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment and the first of three scheduled
STS-117 spacewalks. The crews will use the shuttle robotic arm to lift
the S3/S4 out of Atlantis’ payload bay and hand it off to the station arm.
The S3/S4 is scheduled to be attached to the station at 11:08 a.m.
Monday. Then, STS-117 Mission Specialists John “Danny” Olivas and Jim
Reilly will make connections between the station and the new truss
segment during the spacewalk, which is set to kick off at 2:53 p.m.
On Saturday, the crew used Atlantis’ robotic arm and an attached boom
extension to check the spacecraft’s underside, nose cap and leading
edges of the wings as well as hard to reach shuttle surfaces. The
robotic arm cameras took a closer look at an area of insulation blanket
on the port orbital maneuvering system pod that pulled away from
adjacent thermal tiles. Engineers are analyzing the imagery. Olivas took
additional photographs of the area this morning.
+ The Crew
+ The Mission
+ The Integrated Truss Structure
More information about the SAREX