HOUSTON – Discovery’s astronauts performed an inspection of the orbiter’s thermal protection system. They also checked out spacesuits and rendezvous tools in preparation for Saturday’s docking with the International Space Station, scheduled for 1:15 p.m. CST.
The shuttle and its crew of six, Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen, Michael Barratt and Nicole Stott are transporting the Permanent Multipurpose Module, Express Logistics Carrier 4 and critical spare parts to the station. They will spend about seven days at the orbiting laboratory. Drew and Bowen will perform two spacewalks.
Lindsey, Boe and Drew used the shuttle’s robotic arm and its orbiter boom sensor system extension to look at the reinforced carbon-carbon on the spacecraft’s nose and wing leading edges, and some of its heat-resistant tiles.
Drew, Bowen, Barratt and Stott spent several hours preparing spacesuits for transfer to the station’s Quest airlock, where the spacewalks will originate.
The crew configured shuttle systems for orbital operations and will install the centerline camera that will be used during alignment and rendezvous with the station. All of Discovery’s systems are performing well.
The next shuttle status report will be issued after crew wake up, or earlier if warranted. The crew is scheduled to be awakened at 5:53 a.m. Saturday.