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STS-114 MCC Status Report #15


STS-114 MCC Status Report #15
Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2005 - 6 p.m. CDT
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Space Shuttle mission managers Tuesday cleared Discovery’s wing leading 
edge heat shield for re-entry as they methodically deal with concerns 
over the protruding tile gap fillers. The mission management team also 
discussed a “puffed out” insulating blanket outside the commander’s 
cockpit window and has decided it poses no risk of overheating during 
entry. Engineers will continue to analyze whether it could pose a debris 
problem if it came loose during aerodynamic flight.

Discovery’s astronauts worked much of today on preparations for 
Wednesday's gap filler repair spacewalk. Transfer of materials to and 
from the International Space Station continued with crewmembers of both 
spacecraft making good progress.

Spacewalkers Soichi Noguchi and Steve Robinson spent an hour this 
morning beginning about 2:40 a.m. CDT with Mission Specialists Andy 
Thomas and Wendy Lawrence, and Pilot Jim Kelly on a review of spacewalk 
procedures. Thomas, as the intravehicular crewmember, will coach and 
monitor the spacewalkers, while Lawrence and Kelly will operate the 
Station's Canadarm2.

That robotic arm will carry Robinson to the repair sites on the 
underside of the forward part of Discovery where he will either gently 
pull out the protruding gap fillers with his hand or with forceps, or 
remove the protrusions with a hacksaw.

After the procedure review, Lawrence and Kelly spent the subsequent 45 
minutes in computer training for the arm tasks, using the Dynamic 
Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics program, or DOUG. Meanwhile, the 
spacewalkers and Thomas worked on assembly of the hacksaw that would be 
used if other methods do not work.

About 7:40 a.m. Lawrence and Kelly, using Canadarm2, unberthed External 
Stowage Platform 2 from Discovery's cargo bay. Noguchi and Robinson 
installed the platform's attachment device on the mission's first 
spacewalk on Saturday, and the platform itself is to be installed on the 
attachment device during Wednesday's spacewalk.

After lunch on board, Noguchi, Robinson and Thomas worked on spacewalk 
tool configuration. Near the end of their work day, all nine crewmembers 
on board, including Discovery Commander Eileen Collins and Station 
crewmembers, Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John 
Phillips, did a spacewalk review.

The spacewalkers began a prebreathe of pure oxygen about 10:50 a.m., a 
little more than an hour before hatches linking Discovery and the 
Station were closed so the Shuttle could be depressurized to 10.2 psi. 
Both the prebreathe and the depressurization were aimed at reducing the 
nitrogen content of the spacewalkers' blood to reduce the possibility of 
nitrogen bubble formation in their bloodstreams during the spacewalk. 
Wednesday’s spacewalk is scheduled to begin at about 3:14 a.m. CDT.

Late in the crew day Tuesday, astronauts received a phone call from 
President George Bush. The President thanked the crew for taking risks 
for the sake of exploration and wished them well in the remainder of 
their mission.

The next STS-114 mission status report will be issued Wednesday morning 
or earlier if events warrant.

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