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STS-114 MCC Status Report #09



SUBMITTED BY ATHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

STS-114 MCC Status Report #09
Saturday, July 30, 2005 – 4 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Space Shuttle Discovery’s heat protective tiles and thermal blankets 
have been pronounced fit for entry after engineers reviewed the imagery 
and other data to judge their health. Analysis remains on the reinforced 
carbon carbon wing leading edges and the protruding gap fillers 
identified earlier. Aerodynamics experts are evaluating the effect on 
surface heating that the gap fillers may cause to decide whether any 
work is necessary to reduce their size.

Mission managers today also decided to extend Discovery’s mission by one 
day to spend more time docked with the International Space Station. 
Astronauts are busy transferring more water and supplies to the ISS in 
case the next Shuttle mission is delayed. An additional 10 gallons of 
water was transferred along with a pair of laptop computers and other 
supplies.

Astronauts Steve Robinson and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace 
Exploration Agency wrapped up a successful 6-hour, 50-minute spacewalk 
at 11:36 a.m. Saturday, completing a demonstration of Shuttle thermal 
protection repair techniques and enhancements to the Station’s attitude 
control system.

For the repair demonstration, they worked with tiles and reinforced 
carbon-carbon intentionally damaged on the ground and brought into space 
in Discovery's cargo bay. They tested an Emittance Wash Applicator for 
tile repair and Non-Oxide Adhesive eXperimental (NOAX) for the 
reinforced carbon-carbon samples.

Helped by Astronaut Andy Thomas, who served as a coach and monitor from 
Shuttle's aft flight deck, they also installed a base and cabling for a 
stowage platform and rerouted power to Control Moment Gyroscope-2 
(CMG-2), one of four 600-pound gyroscopes that control the orientation 
of the Station in orbit.

CMG-2 has been healthy, but a faulty circuit breaker interrupted its 
power supply in March. Since that time the Station had operated 
successfully on two CMGs. About 9:20 a.m. Mission Control told the 
astronauts they saw power again flowing to CMG-2. Plans call for it to 
be spun up to its 6,600 rpm operating speed over the next several hours 
and subsequently put back into the attitude control mix. Another 
gyroscope, CMG-1 which failed in 2002, is to be replaced Monday on the 
second of three spacewalks. They also replaced a faulty global 
positioning system antenna on the Station.

The spacewalk began at 4:26 a.m., after deliberate preparations delayed 
the planned start. The Station crew, Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA 
Science Officer John Phillips, had moved the orbiting laboratory's 
Canadarm2 into position to help Noguchi and Robinson's work. Discovery 
Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialist Wendy Lawrence ran the arm, 
helping the spacewalkers install the stowage platform base.

The spacewalkers had time for some get-ahead tasks near the end of their 
spacewalk, bringing in two experiments that exposed a variety of 
materials samples to the harsh vacuum and extreme temperatures of space. 
Noguchi also photographed some insulation on the port side of 
Discovery's cabin.

Hatches between the Station and Discovery had been closed in preparation 
for the spacewalk. Once hatches were reopened, remaining crewmembers, 
Eileen Collins and Mission Specialist Charlie Camarda, went about other 
tasks, including transfer of cargo from the Shuttle to the Station.

Among those tasks was another survey of parts of Discovery's thermal 
protection system by the Shuttle's robotic arm and the Orbiter Boom 
Sensor System. Kelly and Camarda, operating the arm, focused their 
attention on seven areas of interest along the leading edge of 
Discovery's port wing.

After analysis of many images taken of Discovery during and after its 
launch, including information from previous surveys like the one done 
Saturday, no damage that would threaten a safe landing by the Shuttle 
has been identified. About 25 dings have been seen on Discovery, 
compared to a mission average of 145 in missions before Columbia's loss.

The next STS-114 mission status report will be issued after crew wakeup 
Saturday night, or earlier if event warrant.

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