Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
HOUSTON Preparations for the second spacewalk of Atlantis' STS-129 visit to the International Space Station, transfer of material between the spacecraft and talks with media representatives helped keep astronauts busy Friday.
The Atlantis crew, Commander Charles Hobaugh, Pilot Barry Wilmore and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman, Robert Satcher Jr. and Nicole Stott, also tackled various maintenance, troubleshooting and science activities.
Station Expedition 21 crew members, Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineers Jeffrey Williams, Maxim Suraev, Roman Romanenko and Robert Thirsk, joined in those activities.
A little after 6 a.m., the shuttle's robotic arm grappled Express Logistics Carrier 2 in the shuttle cargo bay. It will be handed off to the station arm Saturday and attached with its load of large spare parts to the outside of the station. Its sister carrier, ELC 1, was attached to the station on Thursday.
Foreman and Bresnik, the Saturday spacewalkers, prepared spacesuits and configured tools for their excursion. Both crews spent an hour shortly before bedtime reviewing spacewalk procedures.
Among spacewalk tasks will be installation of a second Payload Attachment System, this one on the upper part of the Starboard 3 truss. It was to have been done on the third spacewalk on Monday, but was moved to Saturday. The first PAS installation, initially scheduled for Saturday, was completed as a get-ahead task by Foreman and Satcher during the mission's first spacewalk on Thursday. Satcher will be Saturday's intravehicular officer.
Other spacewalk jobs Saturday include installation of a Grappling Adaptor to On-Orbit Railing (GATOR) assembly, which is part of a demonstration of two ship Automatic Identification System receivers, relocation of a Floating Potential Measurement Unit and installation of a Wireless Video System transceiver.
The movement of materials between Atlantis and the station continued to go well Friday. Well over half the mission's transfer activities have been completed.
Crew members participated in three chats with media representatives. Hobaugh and Whitmore spoke with CBS News, Fox News Radio and Nashville's WTVG-TV shortly after 5 a.m. Melvin and Satcher were on the Tom Joyner Morning Show at about 6:30 a.m. A little after 3:30 p.m., Hobaugh, Melvin and Satcher talked with ESPN's SportCenter, Black Entertainment Television News and WRIC-TV in Richmond, Va.
Troubleshooting continued on Atlantis' Orbiter Communication Adapter after difficulties with transmission of high-data-rate material. On the station, change out of circuit boards in the Human Research Facility rack was completed.
The next shuttle status report will be issued after the Saturday crew wakeup call, scheduled for 2:28 a.m.