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Crews Remove Leonardo from Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:14 am via: NASA
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(NASA) – After dealing with a balky set of bolt controllers, the combined crew of space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station removed the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module from its station port Thursday.

The crew then used the station’s robotic arm to maneuver the module into position above Discovery’s payload bay. Leonardo will remain in this “low hover” position overnight, and the crew will spend about an hour and a half finishing the job of using Canadarm2 to latch it in the shuttle’s cargo bay on Friday.

A portion of the aft section of the docked space shuttle Discovery (STS-131), Mexico, Baja California and the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 23 crew member on the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

A portion of the aft section of the docked space shuttle Discovery (STS-131), Mexico, Baja California and the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 23 crew member on the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

Leonardo brought about six tons of material to the station and will return to Earth in Discovery’s cargo bay with about 2.5 tons from the station.

This is the final roundtrip to the station for the 21-foot-long, 15-foot-diameter Leonardo. Once back on Earth, the module will be reconfigured with increased shielding on the outside for the STS-133 mission in September when it will be left on the station as a permanent module.

Mission managers reaffirmed plans made to forego a fourth spacewalk to replace the nitrogen tank assembly that has a jammed valve. Engineers have decided the station can operate for an extended period in the current configuration. The team continues to troubleshoot the jammed valve and to consider options for future replacement of the nitrogen tank assembly. The tank assembly is used to pressurize and adjust for the expansion and contraction of the ammonia that circulates through radiators to shed excess heat generated by the station’s electronic systems.

STS-131 is the 33rd shuttle mission to the station.

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