The mission extension day has paid off for the shuttle and station crews as well as the ground teams Tuesday. The crews are ahead of schedule with transfer activity, and their hard work on a tricky water recycling unit and the massive solar array joint are showing signs of improvement.
The Urine Processor Assembly (UPA) ran three successful cycles since modifications Sunday and Monday. Based on that success, program managers decided they will leave the distillation assembly on orbit. They were able to get the samples processed through the UPA and Water Processing Assembly and dispensed through the Potable Water Dispenser (PWD).
Preliminary data shows an indication that the starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint is using less power and moving more freely than before. Engineers plan to continue monitoring the starboard SARJ’s performance. The port SARJ’s current usage has decreased as well due to the preventative lubrication.
Final transfer and packing of the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo was the main activity Tuesday for both shuttle and station crew members. Leonardo’s transfer back to Endeavour is scheduled for Wednesday.
Mission managers extended the STS-126 mission by one day Monday. Landing is scheduled for 1:18 p.m. EST Sunday.