The crews of Discovery and the International Space Station spent their day carefully packing the Leonardo cargo transfer module and reboosting the station’s orbit.
Mission Specialist Andy Thomas coordinated the loading of about a ton of materials and equipment into the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module with help from Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialist Paul Richards. The astronauts are to exit the module at 8:42 p.m. CST, deactivate it at 9:02 p.m. and uncouple it from the station at 11:52 p.m. Using the shuttle’s robotic arm, they are to latch it in the payload bay at 12:57 a.m. Sunday.
Commander Jim Wetherbee set in motion the third and final reboost of the station’s altitude by executing a programmed series of gentle steering jet firings. The third reboost raised the shuttle altitude two statute miles, making the total reboost imparted during the STS-102 mission a little more than seven statute miles.
Departing Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev concentrated on sharing their handover notes with Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Susan Helms and Jim Voss.
Kelly, Richards and Thomas took time to answer questions from NBC News’ Weekend Today Show and ABC News. About an hour later, Usachev, Gidzenko and Krikalev talked with reporters gathered in the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, outside Moscow.
Discovery is scheduled to undock from the station at 10:32 p.m. Sunday. When Discovery undocks from the station, it will mark the end of the Expedition One crew’s 136-day stay onboard the outpost, beginning with their Nov. 2 arrival onboard a Soyuz spacecraft.
The shuttle and station remain in excellent health orbiting Earth at an altitude of approximately 235 statute miles.
The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued Saturday evening.
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