[sarex] Mission Control Clears Shuttle Heat Shield
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Sat Jun 16 16:57:15 PDT 2007
SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Mission Control Clears Shuttle Heat Shield; Williams Sets Spaceflight
Image above: Astronaut Sunita L. Williams, STS-117 mission specialist,
uses a computer in the Unity node of the International Space Station
during flight day five activities while Space Shuttle Atlantis was
docked with the station. Image credit: NASA
TO VIEW IMAGE GO
The Mission Control Center in Houston told the STS-117 crew today that
space shuttle Atlantis’ thermal protection system is cleared for
re-entry. The astronauts got the good news about 11:20 a.m. EDT while
they were transferring cargo between Atlantis and the International
The heat shield was cleared after STS-117 Mission Specialist Danny
Olivas repaired a protruding thermal blanket on one of Atlantis’ orbital
maneuvering system pods during Friday’s spacewalk. Atlantis is scheduled
to leave the station on Tuesday and land Thursday.
Early this morning, Mission Specialist Suni Williams set the record for
the longest-duration single spaceflight by a woman. Williams passed the
previous record of 188 days, 4 hours at 1:47 a.m. as STS-117 and
Expedition 15 crew members slept aboard Atlantis and the station.
Williams began her spaceflight in December when she traveled to the
station with STS-116. She served six months as a space station crew
member. The previous record was set by Shannon Lucid on a mission to the
Russian Mir space station in 1996.
+ Read more about Williams' record-setting spaceflight
In addition to cargo transfers, today’s schedule includes spacewalk
preparations and a news conference. The crews will get ready for
STS-117’s fourth spacewalk by preparing tools and spacesuits that will
be used by Mission Specialists Patrick Forrester and Steven Swanson.
They will also review procedures for the spacewalk, which was added to
the schedule after STS-117 arrived at the station. The excursion is set
to begin at 12:53 p.m. Sunday.
The traditional joint news conference is scheduled to begin at 7:43
tonight and will air live on NASA TV.
*Navigation Computers Up, Troubleshooting Continues*
International Space Station Program Manager Mike Suffredini said things
are going well with the efforts to bring Russian navigation computers
back up to full operation aboard the International Space Station.
“Currently, they have all six computers up while we do some additional
troubleshooting to understand the environment and how it affects the
computers,” he said. “The bottom line is it appears to everyone that the
command and control type computers are functioning just fine.”
Friday, Russian flight controllers and the station crew were able to
power-up two lanes of the Russian central computer and two lanes of the
terminal computer by using a jumper cable to bypass a faulty secondary
Flight controllers began sending commands overnight to restart some
systems. The central computer is now communicating with the U.S. command
and control computer, and the terminal computer is communicating with
U.S. navigation computers.
The Russian navigation computers provide backup attitude control and
orbital altitude adjustments. For now, the station’s control moment
gyroscopes are handling attitude control, with the shuttle’s propulsion
system providing backup.
+ The Crew
+ The Mission
+ The Integrated Truss Structure
More information about the SAREX