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STS-121 MCC Status Report #16


2 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STS-121 MCC Status Report #16

The third and final spacewalk of the STS-121 space shuttle mission will 
be the focus of today’s space activities.

Mission Specialists Mike Fossum and Piers Sellers will test techniques 
to inspect and repair damage to an orbiter's heat shield. The 6.5-hour 
spacewalk from the Quest airlock is scheduled to start at 6:13 a.m. CDT.

Sellers and Fossum will set up tools and a foot restraint on the station 
robotic arm. Sellers will position himself on the arm, operated by 
Mission Specialists Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson. He will use an 
infrared camera to record about 20 seconds of imagery as the arm, and 
Sellers, move along the shuttle’s wing leading edge.

Sellers, designated EV1 and wearing the spacesuit with red stripes, will 
meet EV2 Fossum, in the all-white suit, in Discovery’s payload bay. 
There they will set up the work site for the repair tasks. A pallet with 
12 reinforced carbon-carbon panels is pre-positioned in the payload bay. 
Eight are pre-damaged and will be the subject of the repair test. Two 
are blank, to be used as a work palette, and the last two are for 
further imaging by the infrared camera.

Sellers and Fossum will use a variety of tools and methods for the 
repair work demonstration including a space-certified caulk gun and a 
variety of spatulas to manipulate the test materials.

They hope to finish demonstrations on at least two of those samples. 
Then they’ll do a 60-second recording using the IR camera of two other 
damaged tiles. The camera is designed to capture temperature gradients 
that will indicate invisible damage.

If they have time, they may take additional photos of some shuttle 
panels and move the fixed grapple bar in the shuttle payload bay.

The space walkers will clean up the worksite and inspect their 
spacesuits. Then Fossum will ride the robotic arm back to the airlock, 
again taking video of the wing leading edge as he passes it. Sellers 
will make his own way back.

Pilot Mark Kelly will again serve as the intra-vehicular activities 
officer. Commander Steve Lindsey will oversee the shuttle systems and 
spacewalk operations.

While the shuttle crew is helping with the spacewalk, repacking of the 
multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo will continue. The Expedition 13 
crew, Commander Pavel Vinogradov, and Flight Engineers Jeff Williams and 
Thomas Reiter, will put experiment results, unneeded equipment and 
garbage into Leonardo.

The STS-121 crew woke this morning at 12:08 a.m. to “I Believe I Can 
Fly,” played for Wilson. The Expedition 13 crew was awakened 30 minutes 

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

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