Headlines > News > Station Crew Prepares for ATV-2 and Discovery

Station Crew Prepares for ATV-2 and Discovery

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:34 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 26 crew took some time off Wednesday as it gets ready for the arrival of Europe’s second cargo vehicle “Johannes Kepler.” Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli spent time Wednesday packing gear to be returned home aboard space shuttle Discovery at the end of the STS-133 mission. “Johannes Kepler” will dock to the station a few hours before Discovery launches Thursday to begin the STS-133 mission.

“Johannes Kepler,” the Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 (ATV-2), will dock to the aft end of the Zvezda service module at 10:46 a.m. EST Thursday. The ATV-2’s docking probe was extended and locked Tuesday in preparation for its arrival.

The ATV-2 is delivering cargo, oxygen and fuel. Some of the fuel will be transferred into the station, the rest will be used for firing its engines and reboosting the orbital laboratory. ATV-2’s first reboost occurs the day after docking at 5:33 a.m. with a 3-minute, 18-second firing lifting the station’s orbit by 1.1 statute miles.

The reboost will put the International Space Station in the proper altitude for the undocking of Expedition 26 on March 16 and the launch of Expedition 27 on March 30. A few hours after the ATV-2 completes the reboost the crew will open the hatches to “Johannes Kepler” to begin cargo transfers.

Space shuttle Discovery is ready for launch from Kennedy Space Center at 4:50 p.m. Thursday. Discovery is delivering Robonaut 2, Express Logistics Carrier 4 and the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) to the International Space Station.

The PMM, also named “Leonardo,” has been delivered to the station before carrying science racks and other cargo. The PMM will be berthed to the Earth-facing side of the Unity node on flight day 6 during STS-133. “Leonardo” is expected to spend the next ten years at the International Space Station.

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