STS-115 Mission Specialists Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper are on a “campout” in the International Space Station’s Quest Airlock. They are spending the night in the airlock in preparation for their first spacewalk, which takes place after the P3/P4 integrated truss is attached to the station on Tuesday.
The 45-foot-long truss structure, which contains a set of solar arrays, is slated to be attached to the P1 truss at 4 a.m. EDT. The spacewalkers will begin their excursion at 5:15 a.m. to prepare the truss for solar array deployment.
“Camping out” helps the spacewalkers begin the spacewalk earlier by reducing the amount of time typically required for the pre-breathe exercise and some spacewalk preparations.
The STS-115 crew is slated to enter its sleep period at 4:15 p.m. and wake up at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Atlantis and the STS-115 crew arrived at the station at 6:48 a.m. The STS-115 and the station’s Expedition 13 crews quickly went to work shortly after the hatches opened at 8:30 a.m. The crews used the shuttle robotic arm to hand off the P3/P4 to the station arm at 10:52 a.m. The crew also began transferring cargo between the vehicles.
Explore further: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up