After a busy Sunday in which the STS-117 crew arrived at the International Space Station, attention has turned to the mission’s first spacewalk. The excursion, which will focus on the on-orbit assembly of the station, is slated to begin at 1:53 p.m. EDT Monday.
Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-117 crew arrived at the station Sunday at 3:36 p.m., delivering a new truss segment and crew member to the orbital outpost. The STS-117 crew entered the station for the first time after the hatches between the shuttle and station opened at 5:04 p.m.
The STS-117 astronauts quickly jumped into joint operations with the station’s Expedition 15 crew. One of the first major tasks was the station crew rotation. STS-117 Mission Specialist Clayton Anderson switched places with Expedition 15 Flight Engineer Suni Williams, who wrapped up a six-month tour of duty as a station crew member.
The crews also began preparations for Monday’s installation of the Starboard 3 and 4 (S3/S4) truss segment and the spacewalk. The crews used the shuttle robotic arm to lift the S3/S4 out of Atlantis’ payload bay and to hand it off to the station arm.
The S3/S4, which contains a new set of solar arrays, is scheduled to be attached to the station prior to the start of the spacewalk conducted by STS-117 Mission Specialists John “Danny” Olivas and Jim Reilly. Olivas and Reilly are spending the night in the station’s Quest Airlock in preparation for the spacewalk.
Explore further: Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars (Update)