Friday, April 09, 2010

Discovery Astronauts Aim To Set Up Window On The World

Discovery's astronauts are up and ready to step through their sixth day in orbit, one which will involve hauling new science research equipment into the International Space Station as well as preparations for the second of three spacewalks planned during the mission.

Mission commander Alan Poindexter and his crew woke to a Bon Jovi song -- "We Weren't Born To Follow" -- at about 9:21 p.m. and now are preparing to transfer the Window Observational Research Facility -- a science research tool that scientists have been waiting for decades to use.

The rack will be positioned in front of the window in the U.S. Destiny module, which is the highest quality optical window ever launched into space. The rack includes high-resolution cameras and camcorders as well as multispectral and hyperspectrical scanners. Scientists say the WORF will provide the greatest Earth observation capability ever flown in low Earth orbit.

The astronauts also will transfer a stowage rack into the station from the Italian-built Leonardo cargo carrier, which was launched aboard Discovery and then temporarily attached to the side of the station so it can be off-loaded.

Mission specialists Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson will perform a procedures review for the second spacewalk of the mission, and a trio of space-to-ground media interviews just before 6 a.m. A Naval Post-Graduate School Educational Event is scheduled for 10:36 a.m.

You can watch it all unfold live here in The Flame Trench. Click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer, and be sure to refresh this page for periodic updates.

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