HOUSTON – Space shuttle Discovery’s six crew members are awake and ready to embark on their first full day in space for the mission. Today, the crew will focus on a routine inspection of the orbiter and preparations for docking to the International Space Station.
The crew awoke at 5:54 a.m. to “Through Heaven’s Eyes” performed by Brian Stokes Mitchell on the “The Prince of Egypt” soundtrack. The song was played for Mission Specialist Michael Barratt. This is Barratt’s first flight aboard a shuttle, but his second trip to the International Space Station. He spent 199 days in space as part of the Expedition 19 and 20 crews in 2009.
The main focus of the day will be the six-hour inspection of Discovery’s wing leading edges and nose cap. Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialist Alvin Drew will use the shuttle’s robotic arm and specialized cameras to downlink the detailed views of the thermal protection system for analysis by specialists on the ground.
Later in the day, Barratt and Mission Specialists Steve Bowen and Nicole Stott will work with Drew to unpack and prepare the spacesuits that Drew and Bowen will use for the mission’s two spacewalks. The four mission specialists will also get ready for Saturday’s 1:15 p.m. docking with the International Space Station, checking out the tools that will be used for the rendezvous and setting up a camera that Lindsey and Boe will use to guide the shuttle in.
Meanwhile, aboard the station, the thrusters of the newly arrived Johannes Kepler Automated Transfer Vehicle were tested overnight. The European cargo vehicle was used to boost the station’s altitude by about a mile less than 24 hours after it docked to the Zvezda service module on Thursday. The 3-minute, 18-second thruster firing provided proof that the vehicle could perform reboost as expected and positioned the station for the next round of Russian Soyuz vehicle operations.