Yesterday morning around 11:25 CET the first European astronaut stepped
inside the Space Station, when Umberto Guidoni followed his Endeavour
crew colleagues through the hatches linking Endeavour and the ISS.
Another milestone for Europe was the attachment of the Raffaello ‘space
van’ yesterday evening.

You can watch the highlights of yesterday’s activities in the video
highlights and put your questions on Europe and the ISS to ESA’s experts
in the live web chat this afternoon. 16:00 to 17:00 CET (14:00 to 15:00

The Rafaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) was attached to the
ISS yesterday around 18:00 Central European time (16:05 GMT). Assisted
by Umberto Guidoni, Mission Specialist Scott Parazynski used Endeavour’s
smaller robot arm to lift Raffaello out of the Orbiter’s cargo bay and
attach it to the station’s Unity Module (nadir port).

Unloading of Raffaello’s 3 tonnes of supplies and science racks for the
space station, takes place today, with Umberto Guidoni supervising.

In preparation, the vestibule between Unity and Raffaello has been
pressurised and the MPLM has been activated. The first of the MPLM’s
Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) — developed by
ASI for ESA — was activated, namely the air temperature sensor. Today,
before the hatch is opened, a sample of Raffaello’s air will be taken
and analysed to confirm no cabin air contamination. At that point the
Inter-Module Ventilation valves will be open and the cabin fan activated
to provide for a comfortable environment for the crew during their
operations. The Positive Pressure Relief valves will be de-activated,
since the ISS controls air pressure control during open hatch operations.

Yesterday was a busy day all around for the 10 astronauts and cosmonauts
aboard the ISS. The two crews performed over ten hours of joint
operations before the hatches were closed again in preparation for
today’s spacewalk.

The new 11.3 m long Canadian-built Canadarm2 robot arm took its first
step, ‘walking off’ a pallet mounted at the top of the Destiny Laboratory
to grab onto an electrical grapple fixture on Destiny capable of
providing data, power and telemetry to the dexterous appendage. With
Expedition Two Flight Engineer Susan Helms sending commands from a
workstation inside Destiny, the arm began to move off the pallet at
11:13 GMT. Three hours later, after an extensive checkout of all of its
new joints, the arm affixed itself to the Destiny grapple point where
it will remain overnight in preparation for its first active grappling
of a payload — the pallet on which it was launched — later today.

Commander Kent Rominger and Pilot Ashby also fired the shuttle’s jets
to raise the space station’s altitude 4 kilometres. Two more reboosts
are planned on Wednesday and Thursday to leave the Station at the
correct altitude for the arrival of a Russian-commanded ‘taxi’ crew
next week delivering a fresh Soyuz return vehicle to the complex.

Hatches were closed again at 19:26 GMT in preparation for today’s space
walk. Mission Specialists Scott Parazynski and Chris Hadfield are due
to begin today’s EVA at 13:06 GMT (15:06 CET).

Their tasks during the 6.5 hour spacewalk are: to rewire the base of
the newly installed Canadarm2 so it can operate from its new home on
the Destiny Laboratory, to remove a communications antenna from Unity
which is no longer needed and to mount a spare electrical converter
unit on a stowage platform on Destiny for future Station use.

Related News

* What is the MPLM?

* Vital link between Earth and orbit

Related Links

* Discussion Forum

* Chat room

* Guidoni mission highlights

Astronaut Umberto Guidoni, STS-100 mission specialist representing the
European Space Agency (ESA), remains on Endeavour’s flight deck as two
crew mates (out of frame) on the deck below get ready for space walk
duty. (Photo: NASA)