STS-129 Begins Day Of Moving

After waking up to the sounds of Sister Sledge singing We Are Family, the crew of Atlantis are preparing for a day of moving supplies between the visiting Shuttle orbiter and the ISS. Also on the cards for today is the grappling of the ECL2 - Express Logistics Carrier, the second carrier platform to be installed this mission on the station's truss, pre-loaded with spare parts. The Station's robotic arm will grab the ELC from the Shuttle's arm to install tomorrow.

This is a relatively light workload day for the crew after the intensity of the last few days since launch, closing in on the station for docking and going straight to work preparing for and executing the all important first spacewalk. Each Shuttle mission is packed with as many tasks as the crew is able to fit in as their time on station is limited. Having the extra manpower on board means that maintenance and upkeep of the station is given a welcome boost, and even with a six person permanent crew the day to day running of the ISS is a necessary chore.

Last night the sleep period of both crews was disrupted by an alarm that suggested a depressuization had occured. It turned out to be a false reading and, but the ventilation fans were shut off as a result causing dust to be kicked up, which in turn set off a fire alarm in the European Columbus module. The crew of Atlantis were able to return to sleep shorlty after, but the ISS crew had to do some minor troubleshooting before being allowed back to sleep. The issue is being examined from the ground and will have no further impact of the crews.

Barry Wilmore and Charles Hobaugh during a press event

Public relations keeps the crews busy too, with plenty of television and radio scheduled events throughout the mission. Today hails a sporting linkup with ESPN Sports Center, an unusual departure from the regular science and educational linkups and a welcome change of focus no doubt.

Finally, preparations for tomorrows spacewalk get underway this evening with Mike Foreman and Randy Bresnik camping out in the Quest airlock overnight.

Keep and eye on Spacers and NASA TV for updates on the mission and tomorrow's spacewalk.

Image credit: NASA TV
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