The song “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” performed by Vince and Jenny Gill, awakened Endeavour’s crew this morning at 6:19 a.m. CST. The song was played for Expedition Three Commander Frank Culbertson from his wife for his years of dedicated pursuit of peace on Earth through service to his country, and in tribute to a special anniversary today.
Shortly after the crews onboard Endeavour and the International Space Station were awakened, they prepared to take a moment to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks on America on September 11, as part of President Bush’s “Anthems of Remembrance” event. The event will take place at 7:46 a.m. CST, the exact moment of the attack three months ago.
The United States and Russian national anthems will be played in the shuttle and station flight control rooms in Mission Control and aboard the shuttle and the space station. The three commanders aboard the two spacecraft – Shuttle Commander Dom Gorie, Expedition Three Commander Frank Culbertson, and Expedition Four Commander Yury Onufrienko, will share their personal thoughts as well as play a special pre-recorded message from the rest of the crew currently in orbit.
Onufrienko, along with Expedition Three crew members Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin, will take time today to talk with Russian media located at the mission control center outside Moscow in an interview scheduled to begin at 9:24 a.m. Later in the day, the full crews – Gorie, Onufrienko, Culbertson, Pilot Mark Kelly, Mission Specialists Linda Godwin and Dan Tani, Expedition Four flight engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch, along with Dezhurov and Tyurin – will have an opportunity to talk with American news media during a crew news conference scheduled for 2:04 p.m.
A ceremony to mark the change of command from Culbertson to Onufrienko will take place at 2:48 p.m. today. Culbertson, in his 123rd day in space, will ceremoniously pass command of the space station on to Onufrienko, its newest commander. The official crew exchange occurred Saturday, December 8 with the transfer of Soyuz seatliners for each crew member. Today’s event continues the tradition begun by Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd in March of this year, when he relinquished command of the ISS to Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev.
The crews will also continue transferring equipment and supplies from the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the space station for later use by the Expedition Four Crew. About 4,000 pounds of cargo has already been transferred from Raffaello to the station.
The next STS-108 mission status report will be issued about 6 p.m. today or as events warrant.
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