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STS-121 MCC Status Report #02



5 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 5, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STS-121 MCC Status Report #02

Discovery's astronauts are awake and ready to begin their first full day 
in space. Today the crew will focus on thermal protection system 
inspections, preparing for docking to the International Space Station 
and getting spacesuits ready for two and perhaps three spacewalks.

Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialists Mike 
Fossum, Lisa Nowak, Stephanie Wilson, Piers Sellers and Thomas Reiter 
got their wakeup call at 4:08 a.m. CDT, allowing them an extra 30 
minutes of sleep after their first day in space ran long. The wakeup 
song was “Lift Every Voice and Sing” performed by the New Galveston Chorale.

Four crewmembers will spend much of the day looking for damage to 
Discovery's thermal protection system. Lindsey, Kelly, Fossum and Nowak 
will use the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS), a 50-foot boom on the 
end of the shuttle's robotic Canadarm, to look at the wings' leading 
edges and the nose cap.

The task involves about 6½ hours of intense work for the crew members. 
Actual data takes will total about an hour, 20 minutes for each wing and 
the nose cap. The rest of that time is devoted to very careful movement 
of the Canadarm and the OBSS.

Later, after lunch, Nowak and Wilson will return the OBSS to its berth 
on the starboard sill of Discovery's cargo bay. Then they and Fossum 
will use cameras on the shuttle arm to photograph the outside of 
Discovery's cabin. That activity should take about an hour.

Wilson also will take digital hand-held camera photos of the orbital 
maneuvering system pods at the base of the shuttle's vertical tail fin.

Photos and sensor readings from the shuttle, as well as photos of launch 
and ascent from more than 100 ground-based and airborne cameras and 
radar and instrument data, will be reviewed by experts on the ground. 
The data, photos by the station crew and information from subsequent arm 
surveys at the station and after undocking, will be used to determine if 
Discovery sustained damage during launch and ascent or in space, to 
ensure that it is safe for the shuttle to re-enter the atmosphere to land.

In other activities today, Wilson and Reiter will get items on the 
middeck ready for transfer to the station. Spacewalkers Fossum and 
Sellers, helped by Kelly, the intravehicular officer who will coach the 
spacewalkers, will check out spacesuits.

Nowak and Sellers will extend the shuttle docking ring which will help 
secure Discovery to the station. Just before the shuttle crew goes to 
bed, Kelly and Sellers will check out and prepare docking tools, 
including laptop computers.

At 3:30 a.m., Discovery was trailing the station by 9,573 statute miles 
and closing at a rate of 870 statute miles per orbit. Docking is 
scheduled for 9:52 a.m. Thursday.

Today the space station crew, Commander Pavel Vinogradov and NASA 
Science Officer Jeff Williams, will continue to prepare the orbiting 
laboratory for Discovery's arrival. They will ready the digital cameras 
with 400mm and 800mm lenses they will use during Discovery’s approach to 
take high-resolution photos of the shuttle's heat shield. They also will 
pressurize the Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 at the end of the U.S. 
laboratory Destiny, where Discovery is scheduled to dock.

The next STS-121 mission status report will be issued Wednesday evening, 
or earlier if events warrant.

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