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STS-112 MCC Status Report #17

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

STS-112 MCC Status Report #17 
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2002  6 p.m. CDT 
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas 

Space shuttle and International Space Station crew members enjoyed a
final evening meal together Tuesday after a day of activities aimed at
relaxing after a challenging week of joint operations and making final
preparations for Atlantis' undocking and departure tomorrow. 

Atlantis Commander Jeff Ashby and Expedition Five Science Officer Peggy
Whitson put on their air-conditioning maintenance caps, removing and
replacing a humidity separator in the station's Quest airlock. That
device, which removes excess moisture from the airlock's atmosphere, had
been exhibiting some leakage attributed to a clogged filter. The repair
work went as planned, and the old unit is destined to come home in the
same space on Atlantis that carried up the fresh unit. 

Loadmaster Sandy Magnus coordinated the final transfer of equipment and
supplies from Atlantis to the station, as well as the packing of items
that are being returned to Earth on the shuttle. A total of about 1,800
pounds of supplies were delivered to the station, and an equal amount
will be brought back. 

The joint crew will be awakened at 2:46 a.m. CDT Wednesday and begin
final departure preparations. The two crews will conduct a final farewell
ceremony at 5:59 a.m., then gather on the opposite sides of their hatches
and close the doors. 

Undocking is scheduled for 8:13 a.m. After Pilot Pam Melroy gently eases
Atlantis out to a distance of 450 feet, she will fire its reaction
control system thrusters and begin a slow fly-around of the station so
that her crewmates may take still and video pictures of the station with
its newest addition, the Starboard 1 truss structure. Melroy expects to
fly at least halfway around the station before separating, but if
propellant supplies allow she may be able to make one complete

Once back on their own, the Expedition Five voyagers  131 days into
their mission, 129 as station crewmembers  return their attention to
unpacking a Russian Progress supply vehicle that arrived in late
September, and packing up belongings for their own return home scheduled
for late November aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. Endeavour rolled out to
its Kennedy Space Center launch pad over the weekend, and the next
station addition, a Port 1 truss segment, was loaded in the cargo bay

Between now and then, Expedition Five will receive more guests from Earth
when a new Russian Soyuz emergency return vehicle and crew arrive
following launch Oct. 28 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. 

The next STS-112 status report will be issued tomorrow morning, or
earlier if warranted. 

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