1 a.m. CDT Thursday, October 25, 2007
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON – A new crew member and a new module are only hours away from arriving at the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery is due to dock to the station at 7:33 a.m. CDT to begin 10 days of docked operations.
Today’s wakeup song at 12:39 a.m. CDT was “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest for astronaut Dan Tani. He should go to sleep tonight as a flight engineer on the space station Expedition 16 crew. The official exchange of Tani for Flight Engineer Clay Anderson, who arrived at the station in June, is to occur within the first few hours after docking. The transfer becomes official with the installation of Tani’s customized seat liner in the Soyuz.
Commander Pam Melroy and her shuttle crewmates begin rendezvous operations shortly before 2:00 a.m. CDT. At 6:32 a.m., at a range of 600 feet below the station, she’ll command Discovery to perform a back flip so Anderson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko can photograph the thermal tiles on the shuttle’s belly. Those digital images will be sent to Mission Control so specialists can look for evidence of any damage.
After docking at 7:33 a.m. and hatch opening two hours later, the crew members start moving spacewalking equipment into the Quest airlock to prepare for the first excursion on Friday. Mission Specialists Scott Parazynski and Doug Wheelock will go outside to prepare the Harmony module to be grappled by the station’s robotic arm, lifted from Discovery’s payload bay, and installed on the port side of Unity.
Harmony, which will be permanently installed on the front of the Destiny laboratory after the shuttle departs, provides docking ports for laboratory modules from the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Those components are due on orbit late this year and early next year.
The next STS-120 status report will be issued Thursday evening or earlier if events warrant.
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