The combined crews of the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station will focus their efforts tonight on the mission's second spacewalk. During the 5½-hour spacewalk, scheduled to begin around 9:30 p.m., Atlantis Mission Specialists Mike Gernhardt and Jim Reilly will work with the Expedition Two crew in the installation of two high-pressure gas tanks on the station's new Quest airlock.
Early this morning, mission managers decided to add an additional docked day to the flight between the second and third spacewalks. The mission's third spacewalk, which will be the first out of the Quest airlock, will now occur Friday evening on Flight Day 10 instead of Thursday evening.
The two crews are about half a day behind schedule due to a small water leak that occurred when the astronauts were linking the new airlock to the station's Moderate Temperature Loop. The crews also have been troubleshooting a leaky air valve in an Intermodule Ventilation (IMV) Assembly in the rear, right side of the station's Unity node. Troubleshooting efforts to pinpoint where the valve is leaking and why will continue tomorrow and for now the astronauts have installed a cap on the valve to stop the leak. Should replacement of the valve become necessary, several identical valves are available aboard the station.
The Atlantis crew was awakened at 4:08 p.m. by "Happy Birthday Darlin'" sung by Conway Twitty. It was played for Atlantis Mission Specialist Janet Kavandi who is celebrating a birthday today as she soars 235 miles above the Earth.
During tonight's spacewalk, Expedition Two Flight Engineers Susan Helms and Jim Voss, working from a robotics workstation in the station's Destiny lab, will maneuver the station's robotic arm, the Canadarm2, over Atlantis' payload bay and grapple oxygen tank one. They will then maneuver the tank to Quest where the tank will be attached to the airlock by Gernhardt and Reilly. During the spacewalk, Gernhardt, wearing the spacesuit with the red stripes on the legs, will be on the end of the shuttle robotic arm, which will be controlled by Kavandi. Pilot Charlie Hobaugh will coordinate the spacewalk from inside Atlantis. The procedure will be repeated for nitrogen tank four. The remaining two tanks will be removed from Atlantis' payload bay Friday evening during the mission's third spacewalk.
The next mission status report will be issued about 6 a.m. Wednesday or as events warrant.
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