“Good morning guys!” McCartney said in a message recorded pre-launch for the final space shuttle crew. “Wake up! And good luck on this, your last mission. Well done!”
McCartney’s wakeup call came at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, 30 minutes later than Atlantis’ crew had been scheduled to wake up. It was delayed to give the crew time to make up sleep they lost over the course of the night due to a failure of one of the shuttle’s five general purpose computers.
At 5:07 p.m. on Thursday, a failure alarm rang on board Atlantis, tripped by a problem with general purpose computer 4. Only two of the shuttle’s computer are needed when the shuttle is orbiting the Earth, so the functions that computer had been responsible for were simply transferred to another computer. But the crew spent 40 minutes of their sleep time working through the procedures to do so, and elected to make that time up by sleeping in for 30 minutes.
Commander Chris Ferguson and Pilot Doug Hurley have an hour set aside this morning to work with the computer and get it back up and running.
Much of the rest of the crew’s day will be again be spent transferring cargo to and from the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module. But the crew will take several breaks – at 5:44 a.m., 7:04 a.m. and 8:24 a.m. – to talk with reporters back on Earth.
And before they turn in for the night they’ll take one more break to answer a call from the White House – President Obama is scheduled to call and talk with the crews of Atlantis and the International Space Station at 11:29 a.m.