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STS-121 MCC Status Report #07


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


STS-121 MCC Status Report #07

The STS-121 Mission Management Team Friday decided to extend Discovery’s 
flight by an additional day to 13 days after reviewing the rate at which 
the orbiter’s consumables are being used. The extra day will allow a 
third spacewalk to test thermal protection system repair techniques and 
evaluate a thermal imaging camera.

With the mission extension, landing is now planned at the Kennedy Space 
Center in Florida on Monday, July 17 at 8:12 a.m. CDT.

Among the highlights of Friday’s activities was the transfer of the 
Leonardo Multipurpose Logistics Module from Discovery’s cargo bay to its 
temporary mounting point on the International Space Station’s Unity 
module. Mission Specialist Stephanie Wilson operated the robotic arm on 
ISS around 4:45 a.m. to begin the process. After some initial concern 
that loose straps on a cover of the latching mechanism on the Unity 
module docking port might interfere with a proper seal between Leonardo 
and Unity, the MPLM was successfully latched in place by 7:15 a.m. CDT. 
After leak checks confirmed a good seal, Leonardo was ready for access 
by the astronauts who will move its supplies and equipment into the ISS 
over the next few days.

Discovery’s astronauts went to bed shortly after 6 p.m. Friday and were 
scheduled to awaken just after 2 a.m. Saturday to begin preparations for 
the first spacewalk of the mission.

Also on Friday, mission managers reviewed the preliminary surveys of 
Discovery’s heat shield and picked some areas for additional attention. 
Six areas were the subject of focused attention including some 
protruding gap fillers, the nose cap and a heat shield blanket.

In the post-Mission Management Team briefing Friday, Orbiter Project 
Office Manager Steve Poulos gave details of heat shield survey work. 
None of the items being looked at more closely gives reason for concern, 
said Poulos, but more analysis remains before Discovery’s heat shield 
can be given a clean bill of health.

The next Mission Status Report will be issued early Saturday morning or 
as conditions warrant.

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