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7 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 6, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STS-121 MCC Status Report #05

There is a crew of three aboard the International Space Station today 
for the first time in more than three years, and for the first time ever 
that crew includes an American, a Russian and a European.

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter of Germany was delivered 
as the newest member of ISS Expedition 13 just hours after Space Shuttle 
Discovery docked at the station’s Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 at 9:52 
a.m. CDT, as the two ships flew above the south Pacific Ocean south of 
Pitcairn Island.

Commander Steve Lindsey piloted Discovery’s approach to ISS, halting 600 
feet directly below the station to perform the rendezvous pitch 
maneuver: the shuttle was commanded to do a nose-over-tail somersault so 
ISS Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams could 
photograph the thermal protection system tiles on the orbiter’s 
underside. Imagery experts on the ground will study the high-resolution 
still pictures for evidence of any damage to the insulating tiles.

Lindsey and his crew—Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialists Mike 
Fossum, Lisa Nowak, Stephanie Wilson, Piers Sellers and Reiter—greeted 
the station crewmembers when the hatches between the vehicles were 
opened at 11:30 a.m. CDT.

After Vinogradov’s safety briefing for the shuttle crew, he helped 
Reiter install his customized Soyuz seat liner into the Russian rescue 
vehicle and check his pressurized Sokol suit, finalizing Reiter’s 
transfer from Discovery to ISS. Other first-day transfers from Discovery 
included the spacesuits that Sellers and Fossum will wear on their 
spacewalks out of the Quest airlock on Flight Days 5 and 7.

In preparation for the first EVA, Nowak, Wilson and Williams lifted the 
Orbiter Boom Sensor System with the station’s robotic arm and handed it 
over to the shuttle’s robotic arm. During the first spacewalk Sellers 
and Fossum will simulate orbiter repair tasks while attached to the 
OBSS/shuttle arm combination to test that 100-foot-long construction 
crane as a work platform.

On the second spacewalk the astronauts will deliver a spare Pump Module 
to an external stowage platform before replacing a damaged power and 
data cable reel assembly in the station’s truss. The repair will allow 
the Mobile Transporter to move along the truss during installation of 
new truss segments on future shuttle assembly missions.

The next STS-121 mission status report will be issued early Friday morning.

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