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Waspie_Dwarf

STS-122 MCC Status Reports

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The MCC Status Reports issued by NASA are similar to the Shuttle Processing Status Reports except that they are updates on a mission in progress rather than shuttle ground activities.

MCC status reports for previous mission can be found here: STS-121, STS-115, STS-116, STS-117, STS-118 & STS-120.

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02.07.08
Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 4:30 p.m. CST

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STATUS REPORT: STS-122-01

STS-122 MCC Status Report #01

HOUSTON -- Seven years to the day after the first laboratory was launched to the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle Atlantis roared into space this afternoon with the second, the European Space Agency's Columbus lab.

Atlantis lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center on mission STS-122 at 1:45 p.m. CST. Aboard the shuttle are Commander Steve Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love, Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts. Schlegel and Eyharts are European astronauts.

Atlantis is in excellent condition. The shuttle is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station on Saturday. On Friday, the crew will use the shuttle's robotic arm to inspect Atlantis' heat shield on the wing leading edges and nose. They also will check the spacesuits that will be used for three spacewalks during the mission.

After Atlantis arrives at the station, Eyharts will become a member of the Expedition 16 crew, joining Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko. Flight Engineer Dan Tani, who has been aboard the station since October 2007, will return to Earth on Atlantis.

The launch of Atlantis is the 121st space shuttle launch and the 29th flight of Atlantis. The Columbus module is Europe’s primary contribution to the space station. Columbus will host experiments in life, physical and earth sciences.

The shuttle crew will begin a sleep period at 7:45 p.m. CST and awaken at 3:45 a.m. CST Friday to begin their first full day in space.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #01

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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02.08.08
Friday, February 8, 2008 - 5 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-02


STS-122 MCC Status Report #02


The seven member crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis has begun its first full day in space on an 11-day mission that delivers the newest research module, the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory, to the International Space Station.

Installing the laboratory, named for Christopher Columbus, is the primary goal of this 121st space shuttle mission. It will add 2,648 cubic feet of pressurized volume, four science experiment racks and one storage rack to the space station.

This morning’s wakeup song, “The Book of Love,” performed by Peter Gabriel, was played for European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts at 3:45 a.m. CST. Eyharts will become a member of the Expedition 16 crew, replacing Flight Engineer Dan Tani, after Atlantis arrives at the space station Saturday.

Today Atlantis Commander Steve Frick and his crewmates, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love, Hans Schlegel and Eyharts will perform an inspection of Atlantis’ heat shield using the shuttle’s robotic arm and the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. They’ll also check out the tools they need for Saturday’s rendezvous and docking to the station and install a centerline camera in the shuttle’s orbiter docking system.

Spacewalkers Walheim, Schlegel and Love will prepare spacesuits that they will wear during the mission’s three spacewalks; two by Walheim and Schlegel and one by Walheim and Love.

The International Space Station’s Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Tani started their day at 4 a.m. CST. Today they will conduct a leak check of the Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 where Atlantis will dock to the station Saturday morning at 11:25 a.m. CST.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Friday evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #02

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02.08.08
Friday, February 8, 2008 - 5 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-03


STS-122 MCC Status Report #03


HOUSTON – The seven-member crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis is ready for tomorrow’s rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station, planned for 11:25 a.m. CST.

Commander Steve Frick and his crewmates, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love, Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts, today completed a five-hour inspection of Atlantis’ heat shield using the shuttle’s robotic arm and the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. Imagery analysts and engineers on the ground will add today’s three-dimensional sensor images to imagery and accelerometer data collected at launch and during the climb to orbit and continue their analysis of the shuttle's heat shield.

Also today, the crew checked out the tools that will be used during tomorrow's rendezvous and docking to the station, installed the centerline camera that will be used during docking and extended the outer ring of the Orbiter Docking System.

Spacewalkers Walheim, Schlegel and Love checked out the spacesuits that they will wear during the mission's three spacewalks. At 2:02 p.m. Walheim reported that the suits had been fully prepared for transfer to the space station.

On board the space station, Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Dan Tani readied the station for the arrival of Atlantis’ crew by conducting a leak check of Pressurized Mating Adapter-2, Atlantis’ docking point.

Tomorrow, Frick will perform the rendezvous pitch maneuver, an orbiter back-flip 600 feet below the space station that will allow Whitson and Malenchenko to take hundreds of detailed images of the orbiter’s underside. With the pitch maneuver complete, Frick will fly the shuttle ahead of the station and slowly ease the orbiter back to a docking with the space station.

Tomorrow also marks Whitson's 48th birthday. She commented today that she was looking forward to Atlantis' arrival as her birthday present.

The STS-122 crew is on an 11-day mission that will deliver a new research module to the International Space Station, the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory. Columbus will be Europe's largest contribution to the construction of the station, adding 2,648 cubic feet of pressurized volume, four science experiment racks and one storage rack to the orbiting complex.

Atlantis’ crew is scheduled to go to sleep at 7:45 p.m. and will awaken at 3:45 a.m.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Saturday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #03

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02.09.08
Saturday, February 9, 2008 - 5 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-04


STS-122 MCC Status Report #04


The International Space Station’s newest scientific laboratory, the European Space Agency’s Columbus research module, is just hours from completing its journey to the station.

Space shuttle Atlantis will deliver the new module and a new crew member to the station when it docks at 11:25 a.m. CST to begin 6 days of docked operations.

Today’s wakeup song, played for Commander Steve Frick, at 3:45 a.m. CST was the theme song from Garrison Keillor’s radio variety show “A Prairie Home Companion.” The song is the Spencer Williams composition "Tishomingo Blues," but with lyrics written especially for the show.

Frick and his shuttle crewmates begin rendezvous operations at 5:30 a.m. CST. At 10:23 a.m., at a range of 600 feet below the station, Frick will command Atlantis to perform a back flip so ISS Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko can photograph the thermal tiles on the shuttle’s underside. Those digital images will be sent to Mission Control for analysis.

With the pitch maneuver complete, Frick will then fly the shuttle ahead of the station and slowly ease the orbiter back to a docking with the space station.

After hatch opening, the crew members will begin moving spacewalking equipment into the Quest airlock to prepare for the first excursion on Sunday. Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel will go outside to prepare the Columbus module to be grappled by the station’s robotic arm, lifted from Atlantis’ payload bay, and installed on the starboard side of Harmony.

The official exchange of Atlantis crewmember Léopold Eyharts with space station Flight Engineer Dan Tani, who arrived at the station in October, is planned for 6 a.m. CST Sunday. The transfer becomes official with the installation of Eyharts’ customized seat liner in the Soyuz.

The STS-122 crew is on an 11-day mission to install and activate Columbus. The new laboratory is Europe's largest contribution to the construction of the station, adding 2,648 cubic feet of pressurized volume, four science experiment racks and one storage rack to the orbiting complex.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Saturday evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #04 Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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02.09.08
Saturday, February 9, 2008 - 5:30 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-05


STS-122 MCC Status Report #05


HOUSTON – Space shuttle Atlantis delivered the European Space Agency’s Columbus science laboratory to the International Space Station today, but the actual installation of the module will be delayed by one day.

What wasn’t delayed, however, was the official crew rotation of ESA Astronaut Leopold Eyharts and Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Dan Tani, which was completed at 5:20 p.m. Eyharts now is a member of Expedition 16 and Tani is an STS-122 mission specialist.

Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Tani welcomed the seven-man Atlantis crew into the space station at 12:40 p.m., following an 11:17 a.m. docking, following a flawless rendezvous throughout the morning.

They’ll have 24 extra hours to finish preparing for the mission’s next major milestone, however, due to a crew medical issue. The mission’s first spacewalk originally was scheduled for Sunday, but has been postponed until Monday. Mission Specialist Rex Walheim will be joined for the spacewalk by Mission Specialist Stanley Love, rather than Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, as originally planned.

Space Shuttle Program Deputy Manager John Shannon said ground teams are currently reworking the mission timeline and there should be no impact to the completion of the mission’s objectives, despite being shifted one day later.

To make up for the delay, Shannon said the crew will conserve enough power to spend an additional day in space. Atlantis went into orbit with the option of adding one day to its mission, which was to be used for additional work commissioning the new Columbus module. By adding a second day, the crew could shift their activities by one day and still have time for more Columbus work after the module is installed.

Before docking, Commander Steve Frick flew the shuttle through a backflip to allow the space station crew a good view of Atlantis’ heat shield. Whitson and Malenchenko took about 300 photos of the shuttle’s thermal protection system and sent them down to teams on the ground for analysis.

The teams also are paying close attention to photos sent down by the crew Friday of minor damage to a thermal blanket over the shuttle’s right Orbital Maneuvering System pod. A similar condition occurred on the left pod last year on STS-117 and was repaired during a spacewalk.

Shannon said this case does not seem to be as much of a concern, because this particular blanket location does not experience as much heat during the shuttle’s reentry.

Docking went smoothly with the exception of a hiccup with one of the station’s five general purpose computers. After experiencing some problems with guidance and navigation software on the computer, the crew opted to use other computers for the shuttle’s rendezvous with the station. Only one computer is needed to perform the rendezvous, with one computer required for backup. Mission Control will review the computer’s software to ensure its health.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Sunday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #05 Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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02.10.08
Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 6:00 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-06


STS-122 MCC Status Report #06


HOUSTON – The seven-member crew of Atlantis will spend today preparing for the mission’s first spacewalk on Monday and take a closer look at a small tear on a thermal blanket over the shuttle’s right Orbital Maneuvering System pod.

Mission managers added a day to the mission Saturday after delaying the first spacewalk because of a crew medical issue. Plans were finalized last night for a focused inspection of Atlantis’ thermal protection system today beginning at 1:15 p.m. CST. The crew also will ready Harmony for the Columbus research module and transfer cargo to the space station.

Today’s wakeup song at 3:45 a.m. CST was “Maenner” by German musician Herbert Groenemeyer for astronaut Hans Schlegel. “Maenner” translated is “Men.” Groenemeyer is also known for his portrayal of Lieutenant Werner in Wolfgang Petersen’s movie “Das Boot.”

Mission Specialists Rex Walheim, Stanley Love and Schlegel will spend time today reviewing procedures for Monday’s spacewalk. Love is replacing Schlegel on the mission’s first spacewalk. Love and Walheim will assist robotic arm operators in attaching the newly arrived Columbus module to the starboard side of the Harmony module.

Walheim and Love will spend tonight "camped out" inside the Quest airlock with air pressure lowered to help purge nitrogen from their bodies in preparation for tomorrow’s spacewalk, the first of three planned for this mission. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 8:35 a.m. CST Monday.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Sunday evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #06 Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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02.10.08
Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 3:00 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-07


STS-122 MCC Status Report #07


HOUSTON – Atlantis’ crew spent the day performing a detailed inspection of the shuttle’s thermal blanket over the right Orbital Maneuvering System pod as well as preparing for tomorrow’s spacewalk.

Mission Specialists Rex Walheim, Stanley Love, Alan Poindexter and Hans Schlegel focused most of the day on finalizing the checklists for the spacewalk, which is scheduled to begin at 8:35 a.m. CST tomorrow. In advance of tomorrow’s activities, Love and Walheim will “camp out” inside the Quest airlock tonight in order to purge nitrogen from their bodies.

Tomorrow’s events will focus on installing the Columbus laboratory by mating it to the Harmony module. Walheim and Love will first install a grapple fixture onto Columbus while it rests inside the shuttle’s payload bay. Astronauts will then use the space station’s robotic arm to attach to Columbus and move it into place on the starboard side of Harmony.

Once the detailed inspection is complete and all images are captured, analysts at Mission Control in Houston will examine the data to ensure there are no issues with the shuttle’s thermal protection system.

The crew is scheduled to wake at 3:45 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Monday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #07

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02.11.08
Monday, February 11, 2008 - 5:30 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-08


STS-122 MCC Status Report #08


HOUSTON – Installation and activation of the European Space Agency’s science laboratory highlights the day as the crews of space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station prepare for the first of three spacewalks.

The day began at 3:46 a.m. CST. The wakeup song “Fly Like an Eagle,” written by Steve Miller, was played for Mission Specialist Leland Melvin on the day he will use the station’s robotic arm to lift the Columbus research module from Atlantis’ payload bay.

Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love will leave the Quest airlock at 8:35 a.m. CST for a 6.5-hour spacewalk to mate Columbus to the Harmony module. Inside the space station, Melvin will operate the station’s arm and Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel will assist the two spacewalkers.

Walheim and Love will first install a grapple fixture on Columbus while it rests inside the shuttle’s payload bay. The two spacewalkers will then prepare to replace a large nitrogen tank used for pressurizing the station's ammonia cooling system.

Meanwhile, Melvin will use the station’s robotic arm to grasp Columbus and move it into place on the starboard side of Harmony. Motorized bolts will lock Columbus in place. Once Columbus is attached, crew members will do an initial leak check.

Columbus is the cornerstone of the European Space Agency’s contribution to the International Space Station and is the first European laboratory to be dedicated to long-term research in space.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Monday evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #08

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02.11.08
Monday, February 11, 2008 - 6:30 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-09


STS-122 MCC Status Report #09


HOUSTON – After an almost eight-hour spacewalk by astronauts Stanley Love and Rex Walheim, the Columbus module officially became a part of the International Space Station.

“The European Columbus module is now part of the ISS,” Expedition 16 astronaut Leopold Eyharts radioed to Mission Control in Houston at 3:44 p.m. CST.

Mission Specialists Love and Walheim worked during the day to install a grapple fixture on Columbus while it rested inside the shuttle’s payload bay. They also worked to prepare electrical and data connections on the module. Once this work was complete, astronauts Leland Melvin, Dan Tani and Eyharts operated the space station’s robotic arm to grab on to Columbus, lift it out of the orbiter and begin the 42-minute journey to its final attachment onto the starboard side of the station.

As Columbus was moving into place, Walheim and Love began work to replace a large nitrogen tank used for pressurizing the station's ammonia cooling system. This work will be completed during the second EVA, which will take place on Wednesday.

Columbus is the cornerstone of Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station. With this addition, the station is now 57 percent complete in terms of mass.

The crew will wake at 3:45 a.m. tomorrow and will spend the day completing the initialization of Columbus, once all leak checks are complete.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Tuesday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #09

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02.12.08
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 5:30 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-10


STS-122 MCC Status Report #10


HOUSTON – With the Columbus module safely installed, outfitting of the European Space Agency’s new laboratory can begin.

Atlantis' crew started its day at 3:45 a.m. CST. The wakeup song, “Dream Come True” by Jim Brickman, was played for Mission Specialist Rex Walheim.

The main activity of the day will be getting the International Space Station’s newest international module ready for business. The crew will begin outfitting the station’s newest science module at 6:40 a.m.

During a partial ingress of the module at 7:50 a.m., European Space Agency astronaut Leopold Eyharts will start ventilation between Columbus and the rest of the station. Then the rest of the shuttle and station crew members are scheduled to take their first steps into Columbus at 1:55 p.m. Soon afterward, the Columbus Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, will take over command of the module.

Between Columbus work and transfer operations, some members of the shuttle crew will take time out to talk with reporters. At 7:53 a.m., Commander Steve Frick and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Stanley Love and Walheim will talk with FOX News’ Fox and Friends, KGO-TV in San Francisco and The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS. And at 3:35 p.m., Frick, along with Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, will be interviewed by CBS News and Pittsburgh television stations KDKA-TV and WPXI-TV.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Tuesday evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #10 Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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02.12.08
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 5:00 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-11


STS-122 MCC Status Report #11


HOUSTON – Astronauts took their work inside the European Space Agency’s new Columbus laboratory today.

Station Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, both European Space Agency astronauts, opened the hatches to the new Columbus laboratory at 8:08 a.m. CST.

"This is a great moment and Hans and I are very proud to be here and to ingress for the first time the Columbus module," Eyharts said.

The crew remained ahead of schedule throughout the activation of Columbus, working inside to bring computers, ventilation and cooling systems online. While integrating the cooling system into that of the station’s, temperature fluctuations caused the system to partially shutdown as a precaution. The system was brought back up and connected without incident later.

With the activation of the new lab, the Columbus Control Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, began supporting mission operations.

Late today, STS-122 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Schlegel will begin a camp out in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for Wednesday’s spacewalk. The spacewalk is scheduled to start at 8:35 a.m.

The crews will awaken at 3:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Wednesday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #11 Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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02.13.08
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 5:30 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-12


STS-122 MCC Status Report #12


HOUSTON – By the end of the day, the International Space Station should have a new nitrogen tank assembly.

The crews of the station and space shuttle Atlantis are preparing for the second spacewalk of Atlantis’ mission. Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel will replace a nitrogen tank used to pressurize the station’s ammonia cooling system.

The astronauts’ day began at 3:45 a.m. CST. The wakeup song “Oysters and Pearls,” by Jimmy Buffett, was played for Pilot Alan Poindexter. The spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 8:35 a.m., after Walheim and Schlegel finish their preparations in the Quest airlock, where they spent the night.

At 8:55 a.m., the space station’s robotic arm will remove the new nitrogen tank from Atlantis’ cargo bay. The removal of the old tank will take the spacewalkers about two and a half hours, and the installation of its replacement is scheduled to take another two hours.

The spacewalkers are scheduled to return to the space station at 3 p.m.

This will be the fourth spacewalk for Walheim, who also took part in the mission’s first spacewalk on Monday and the first for Schlegel. It is the 103rd spacewalk devoted to space station assembly and maintenance.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Wednesday evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #12

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02.13.08
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 5:30 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-13


STS-122 MCC Status Report #13


HOUSTON – The second spacewalk of the STS-122 mission was completed today by astronauts Rex Walheim and Hans Schlegel.

Walheim and Schlegel stepped outside the International Space Station’s Quest airlock at 8:27 a.m. CST, and during the next six hours and 45 minutes they worked to replace a nitrogen tank used to pressurize the station’s ammonia cooling system. Once the tank was replaced, Walheim, mounted on the station’s robotic arm, maneuvered the spent tank into Atlantis’ payload bay for return.

Once the task was completed, Walheim and Schlegel made some minor repairs to the Destiny laboratory’s debris shield and worked on some tasks in advance of the third and final spacewalk of the mission, which will take place on Friday.

While Walheim and Schlegel were finishing up their tasks 210 miles above the earth, mission managers on the ground decided to extend Atlantis’ mission by one extra day to continue activation of the new Columbus laboratory. They also cleared the shuttle’s thermal protection system for re-entry based on inspections completed thus far. Additional inspections are scheduled following Atlantis’ departure from the station.

Atlantis is now scheduled to land at 8:06 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Thursday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #13

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02.14.08
Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 4:45 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-14


STS-122 MCC Status Report #14


HOUSTON – After a busy day of spacewalking on Wednesday, the space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station crews have a light day ahead of them, with off-duty time, interviews and preparations for Friday.

The shuttle crew woke up at 2:45 a.m. to “Consider Yourself at Home.” The song, which is from the musical “Oliver!”, was played for Mission Specialist Stanley Love.

The first major event of the day will begin at 8:55 a.m., when shuttle Commander Steve Frick, Mission Specialists Hans Schlegel and Daniel Tani, station Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Leopold Eyharts speak with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. Schlegel, a European Space Agency astronaut, is from Germany.

Tani, Whitson and Malenchenko will then speak with reporters from NBC News, WOI-TV and WBBM radio at 10:10 a.m. WOI-TV is in Des Moines, Iowa, capital of Whitson’s home state. WBBM will be calling from Chicago, near Tani’s hometown of Lombard, Ill.

Before the day is over, the crews will also go over the plan for the mission’s third and final spacewalk. Love and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim will be installing experiment platforms on the outside of the new Columbus laboratory and storing a failed control moment gyroscope in the shuttle’s cargo bay. They will also take a closer look at some damage to a handrail on the Quest Airlock that may be the cause of cuts to spacesuit gloves on recent missions.

Part of today’s preparations will involve building a tool that will be used in the inspection. Astronauts will wrap an overglove around a socket, then run the tool over the damaged handrail to see if there are any edges sharp enough to cut the material.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Thursday evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #14

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02.14.08
Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 5:00 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-15


STS-122 MCC Status Report #15


HOUSTON – The crew of Atlantis, along with the Expedition 16 crew aboard the International Space Station, spent the day preparing for tomorrow’s third and final spacewalk and talking with the media.

This morning, Shuttle Commander Steve Frick and Mission Specialists Hans Schlegel and Daniel Tani, station Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Leopold Eyharts spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Also participating were European Space Agency Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and former astronaut Thomas Reiter of the German Space Agency.

The astronauts then spoke with NBC News, WOI-TV and WBBM radio. WOI-TV is in Des Moines, Iowa, capital of Whitson’s home state. WBBM is in Chicago, near Tani’s hometown of Lombard, Ill.

Tonight, Mission Specialists Stanley Love and Rex Walheim will camp out inside the Quest airlock. This will purge the nitrogen from their bodies in advance of tomorrow’s spacewalk.

During the 6.5-hour spacewalk that is scheduled to start at 7:40 a.m. CST, Love and Walheim will install two experiment platforms on the outside of the Columbus module. If time allows, they also will take a closer look at some damage to a handrail on the Quest airlock. The astronauts have built a special tool that will be used during the inspection, which comprises an overglove material wrapped around a socket. They will run the tool over the damaged handrail to see if there are any edges sharp enough to cut the material.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Friday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #15

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02.15.08
Friday, February 15, 2008 - 4:00 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-16


STS-122 MCC Status Report #16


HOUSTON – The seven-member crew of space shuttle Atlantis is just one spacewalk away from finishing the installation of the new Columbus research module and its exterior experiment facilities.

The crew’s day started at 2:45 a.m. Their wake up call from the Mission Control Center featured Drafi Deutscher’s song “Marmor Stein und Eisen Bricht.” The song’s title translates as “Marble Breaks and Iron Bends.” It was played for Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel, a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany.

The mission’s third spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 7:40 a.m. At that time, the space station’s robotic arm will transfer the first of two external experiment facilities – an observatory used to monitor the sun, called SOLAR – to the Columbus module for installation. That task should take Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love about three hours.

On its way back to the shuttle’s cargo bay to retrieve the second experiment facility to be installed, the robotic arm will pick up a failed control moment gyroscope that was replaced in August and take it back to Atlantis to be returned to Earth.

After dropping that gyroscope off, the robotic arm will pick up the European Technology Exposure Facility – or EuTEF, a facility that will allow scientists to expose experiments to space. Love and Walheim are scheduled to spend about an hour and 45 minutes on that task, which should begin around 11:50 a.m.

If there’s any time left in the 6 hour and 25 minute-long spacewalk, the astronauts will inspect a damaged handrail on the Quest Airlock that may be the source of recent spacesuit glove cuts and take another look at the station’s right Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, which began experiencing problems last fall. The spacewalk is scheduled to end at 2:05 p.m.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued this evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #16

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02.15.08
Friday, February 16, 2008 - 5:00 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-17


STS-122 MCC Status Report #17


HOUSTON – Astronauts Rex Walheim and Stan Love today spent seven hours and 25 minutes completing the third and final spacewalk of the STS-122 mission. Walheim and Love worked to transfer the first of two external experiment facilities – an observatory used to monitor the sun, called SOLAR – to the Columbus module for installation. Pilot Alan Poindexter worked to guide Walheim and Love from inside the International Space Station, while Mission Specialist Leland Melvin operated the station’s robotic arm to guide the astronauts and experiments to the proper locations.

After the installation of SOLAR, the crew transferred a failed gyroscope that controls the orientation of the ISS into Atlantis’ payload bay so it can be returned to Earth. The two astronauts completed the final major objective of the mission by installing a second experiment onto the outside of Columbus, the European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF). This experiment will allow scientists to expose experiments to the vacuum and elements of space.

Once this work was completed, Walheim and Love examined a damaged handrail on the outside of the station’s Quest airlock. They used an improvised tool covered with spacewalk overglove material to rub the area to see if it could be the source of some glove abrasions that have been noticed on recent activity outside the station. Mission managers in Houston will discuss the results to determine if the area is indeed the source of the issue.

Tomorrow at 6:17 a.m., the shuttle will fire its propulsion system for 31 minutes and 13 seconds in order to re-boost the orbit of the ISS. This will allow the station to achieve the proper alignment needed in advance of next month’s arrival of Endeavour on the STS-123 mission.

A crew news conference is scheduled for 7:40 a.m. tomorrow, with all 10 crew members participating in a question-and-answer session with media from the United States and Europe.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued after crew wake-up tomorrow morning, which is scheduled for 1:45 a.m.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #17

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02.16.08
Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 6 a.m. CST

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

STATUS REPORT: STS-122-18

STS-122 MCC Status Report #18

HOUSTON – The 10 crew members aboard the International Space Station/space shuttle Atlantis complex today will continue with the outfitting of the new Columbus research module, give the station a reboost to get it ready for its next visitors and spend some time talking with reporters on Earth.

The crew was allowed to sleep in about 30 minutes after Friday’s long spacewalk. This morning's wake-up call – “I Believe I Can Fly,” performed by Yolanda Adams and Kenny G and played for Mission Specialist Leland Melvin – came at 2:20 a.m. CST.

Columbus outfitting and transfer operations will continue throughout the day, and the crew will be reconfiguring the tools and suits used during Friday’s spacewalk.

At 6:16 a.m., the shuttle will fire its propulsion system for 36 minutes to reboost the orbit of the space station. This will allow the station to achieve the proper alignment needed in advance of next month’s arrival of Endeavour on the STS-123 mission.

And then at 7:40 a.m., all 10 members of the shuttle and station crews will participate in the traditional joint crew news conference. Reporters at Johnson Space Center in Texas, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the European Space Agency's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, and the French Space Agency Headquarters in Paris will be participating in the question-and-answer session.

Toward the end of the day, Pilot Alan Poindexter and mission specialists Rex Walheim and Stanley Love will have some off-duty time. Walheim and Love performed Friday’s spacewalk, and Poindexter worked inside as their intravehicular officer.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued this afternoon or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #18

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02.16.08
Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 1 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-19


STS-122 MCC Status Report #19


HOUSTON – Outfitting of the International Space Station Columbus module experiment racks continued today with all 10 crew members working to complete the activation and initialization of the newest addition to the station.

Earlier in the day, space shuttle Atlantis’ propulsion system was used to reboost the station’s altitude by about 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) – the first reboost of the station using shuttle thrusters since 2002.

The altitude adjustment lasted 36 minutes and used four of the shuttle’s vernier jets that produced about 28 pounds of thrust each to gently raise the orbit. The increased altitude will allow the station to be in the proper orbit for next month’s arrival of Endeavour on the STS-123 mission.

Early Saturday, all 10 members of the shuttle and station crews held their traditional news conference with media in the United States and Europe. Today set the stage for the final transfer of cargo between the shuttle and station early on Sunday. The crews will bid farewell to one another and close the hatches between the shuttle and station shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday. Atlantis’ departure remains scheduled for early Monday.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued tomorrow morning after crew wake-up or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #19

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02.17.08
Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 1:15 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-20


STS-122 MCC Status Report #20


HOUSTON – The seven-member crew of Atlantis will complete the final cargo transfers, wrap up their part in the installation and activation of the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory, and then bid farewell to the Expedition 16 crew this morning.

Farewells are scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m., followed by hatch closing at 11:30 a.m.

The wakeup call for the crew’s final docked day came at 12:45 a.m. Mission Specialist Stan Love was treated with “Hail Thee, Harvey Mudd,” the Harvey Mudd College anthem written by Amy Lewkowicz. Love is a 1987 graduate of the Claremont, Calif., private math, science and engineering college.

Overnight Atlantis’ transferred 92 pounds of oxygen to the station’s Quest airlock tank. In addition, a final leak check of the vestibule between the Harmony and Columbus modules was done.

The most important transfer completed is the return of astronaut Dan Tani. Tani, who joined the station’s Expedition 16 crew in October, is being replaced by European Space Agency Astronaut Leopold Eyharts, who arrived at the station with the STS-122 crew. Eyharts will finish commissioning Columbus.

In addition to delivering the Columbus laboratory to the orbital outpost, Atlantis’ astronauts performed three spacewalks to prepare the module for its scientific work, replaced an expended nitrogen tank on the station and retrieved a failed control moment gyroscope for return to Earth.

Atlantis’ crew is scheduled to leave the space station on Monday, with undocking slated for 3:26 a.m. that day.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued this afternoon after the mission status briefing or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #20

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02.17.08
Sunday, February 17, 2008 - 1p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-21


STS-122 MCC Status Report #21


HOUSTON – The ten spaceflight crew members parted ways to their respective spacecraft today. After farewells were said, hatches between the space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station were closed at 12:03 p.m. CST.

Atlantis’ crew is scheduled to leave the space station on Monday, with undocking slated for 3:27 a.m. The departure sets up Atlantis for its scheduled landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Wednesday at 8:07 a.m.

Before closing hatches, the seven-member crew of Atlantis completed the final cargo transfers between the two spacecraft. Atlantis launched with one of heaviest middecks in the history of the shuttle program and will land with the heaviest middeck ever, weighing 2,040 pounds.

The most important transfer completed is the exchange of astronaut Daniel Tani for European Space Agency Astronaut Leopold Eyharts. Tani joined the station’s Expedition 16 crew in October and is being replaced by Eyharts, who arrived at the station with the STS-122 crew. Eyharts will finish commissioning the Columbus laboratory.

In addition to delivering Columbus to the orbital outpost, Atlantis’ astronauts performed three spacewalks to prepare the module for its scientific work, replaced an expended nitrogen tank on the station and retrieved a failed control moment gyroscope for return to Earth.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Monday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #21

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02.18.08
Monday, February 18, 2008 - 12:45 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-22


STS-122 MCC Status Report #22


HOUSTON – Space shuttle Atlantis is set to undock from the International Space Station at 3:27 a.m. after nine days of joint operations carrying the seven-member crew that successfully commissioned the European Space Agency’s new Columbus science laboratory.

Today’s wake-up song, played for STS-122 crew member Dan Tani, at 11:53 p.m. was “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World,” sung by Hawaiian-Japanese vocalist Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, accompanied by his ukulele.

With their delivery of the new laboratory, Atlantis' STS-122 astronauts will leave a larger space station and one with increased science capabilities. The Columbus Research Module adds nearly 1,000 cubic feet of habitable volume and affords room for 10 experiment racks, each an independent science lab.

Atlantis also left behind new Expedition 16 crew member Leopold Eyharts, 95 pounds of oxygen and nearly 1,400 pounds of water.

After undocking, Atlantis will move in front of the station to a range of 400 feet, and then Pilot Alan Poindexter will begin a full one lap fly around so his crewmates can get video and digital still imagery of Columbus docked to Harmony’s right-side port.

When the shuttle again crosses directly in front of the station, Poindexter will fire the reaction control system jets to begin Atlantis’ separation. He’ll make the final separation jet firing at 5:10 a.m. to start the crew’s trip home.

The crew will conduct a final inspection of the shuttle’s thermal protection system using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System at 7:20 a.m. The crew will re-examine the reinforced carbon-carbon panels on both wings and the nose cap for any evidence of damage from orbital debris.

As the other crew members prepare for landing, Tani, who has been in space since his launch to the space station in October, is scheduled for exercise to help prepare his body to feel the pull of gravity again. Atlantis is targeted to land at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday at 8:07 a.m.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued this evening or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #22

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02.18.08
Monday, February 18, 2008 - 11 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-23


STS-122 MCC Status Report #23


Space shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 3:24 a.m. CST after nine days of joint operations.

Atlantis and the seven-member crew left behind the station’s new European Space Agency (ESA) Columbus laboratory and ESA astronaut Leopold Eyharts to prepare science experiments inside for operation.

After undocking, Atlantis Pilot Alan Poindexter completed a full fly around so his crewmates could obtain video and digital still imagery of Columbus docked to Harmony’s right-side port.

The crew is performing a final inspection of the shuttle’s thermal protection system in preparation for return to Earth. The Orbiter Boom Sensor System is used to search for any evidence of damage from orbital debris. That data will be reviewed by engineers over the next day.

Astronaut Daniel Tani, who has been in space since his launch to the space station in October, exercised to help prepare his body to feel the pull of gravity again.

Atlantis is targeted to land at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday at 8:07 a.m. The weather forecast is favorable.

Today the crew is scheduled to go to sleep at 3:45 p.m. and awaken at 11:45 p.m.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Tuesday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #23

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02.19.08
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - 2 a.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-24


STS-122 MCC Status Report #24


Atlantis’ seven-member crew will complete the final preparations today for their return home, wrapping up their 13-day mission with a scheduled early Wednesday morning landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The crew’s 11:45 p.m. CST Monday wake-up call was the Spamalot rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side” played for STS-122 Commander Steve Frick.

The crew is expected to begin routine de-orbit preparations and cabin stowage at 2:45 a.m. Then, at 4:10 a.m., Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim will power up an auxiliary power unit to check out the orbiter’s flight control surfaces. At 5:20 a.m. they will start a test firing of each of the shuttle’s reaction control system jets.

Late Monday afternoon, the heaters on Atlantis’ four aft vernier engines, part of the reaction control system, failed. Those jets, located near the Orbiter Maneuvering System pods, are the small attitude control jets used to tweak a shuttle’s position in orbit and are not used during de-orbit maneuvers.

The shuttle astronauts will take a break from packing at 7:35 a.m. to talk about the flight with ABC News, CNN and WRIC-TV in Richmond, Va., near the home of Mission Specialist Leland Melvin.

At 12:15 p.m. Walheim and returning Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Dan Tani will set up a recumbent seat on the middeck for Tani to use during entry and landing. Melvin and Mission Specialist Hans Schlegel will stow the Ku-band communications antenna at 12:35 p.m.

The International Space Station’s crew is enjoying a day off-duty before starting a heavy schedule. They are preparing for the delivery of the first section of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agency’s multi-armed dexterous robotic system, Dextre, on the STS-123 mission targeted for launch March 11.

Atlantis is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday at 8:07 a.m. The weather forecast is favorable. Today the crew is scheduled to go to sleep at 3:45 p.m. and awaken at 11:45 p.m.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued this afternoon or earlier if events warrant.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #24

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02.19.08
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 - 5 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STATUS REPORT: STS-122-25


STS-122 MCC Status Report #25


HOUSTON – After a check of all of the systems they will use for a return to Earth, Atlantis’ seven-member crew packed up today in preparation for landing Wednesday.

Atlantis is planned to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:07 a.m. CST with the forecast of near perfect weather at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle would fire its engines to begin a descent to Florida at 7 a.m.

Atlantis has three additional opportunities to land Wednesday if needed. A second opportunity to land in Florida would begin with an engine firing at 8:35 a.m. leading to touchdown at 9:42 a.m.

Opportunities also are available to land at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The first opportunity to land at Edwards would begin with an engine firing at 10:05 a.m. leading to an 11:12 a.m. touchdown. A second opportunity to land in California would begin with an engine firing at 11:41 a.m. leading to a 12:47 p.m. touchdown.

Atlantis crew – Commander Steve Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stan Love, Hans Schlegel and Dan Tani – began a sleep period at 3:45 p.m. and will awaken at 11:45 p.m. Tani is returning home after a four-month stay aboard the International Space Station.

The next STS-122 status report will be issued Wednesday morning.

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Source: NASA - STS-122 MCC Status Report #25

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