STS-132 MCC Status Report #19
HOUSTON - Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 10:22 a.m. CDT Sunday, ending a seven-day stay that saw the addition of a new station module, replacement of batteries and resupply of the orbiting outpost.
During three spacewalks astronauts added a backup high-data-rate antenna to the station and a tool platform to Dextre, the robot-like special purpose dexterous manipulator. They removed and replaced six 375-pound batteries on the station's P6 truss segment. The six old batteries are headed back to Earth in Atlantis' cargo bay.
Rassvet, the Russian Mini-Research Module 1 brought to the station by Atlantis, was installed on the Zarya module by Mission Specialists Piers Sellers and Garrett Reisman. The delicate installation involved working in Russian on a computer linked to Rassvet and the station's Russian segment and exacting control of the 58-foot Canadarm2. Both astronauts were in the new cupola, enjoying the luxury of window views to aid arm operation for the first time.
The joint operations were a good example of friendship and professionalism, station Commander Oleg Kotov said after summarizing the week's accomplishments in the farewell ceremony. Atlantis Commander Ken Ham responded: "We are one happy shuttle crew â€¦ happy because of all of your efforts too. We were a 12-person crew that operated together."
After undocking, Pilot Tony Antonelli flew Atlantis around the station at a distance ranging from about 400 to 600 feet. Crew members took photographs and video of the station with its new module to document its condition. Atlantis did the first separation burn, taking Atlantis away from the station, at 11:37 a.m.
Atlantis crew members, Ham, Antonelli and Mission Specialists Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen and Sellers, spent their morning transferring final items from the station and preparing rendezvous tools and other items for their departure.
They and the station crew, Kotov and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov, Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Mikhail Kornienko, Soichi Noguchi, and T.J. Creamer, gathered for a crew photo a little after 5 a.m. They subsequently fielded questions from media representatives at NASA centers and in Tokyo. The crews enjoyed a final midday meal together.
The farewell ceremony and subsequent departure of the Atlantis crew followed. Hatches between the two spacecraft were closed at 7:43 a.m., ending 6 days, 20 hours, 25 minutes of joint crew operations. At undocking, the two spacecraft had been together for 7 days, 54 minutes.
Monday shuttle crew members will do the standard late inspection of the heat resistant reinforced carbon carbon surfaces using the robotic arm and its 50-foot orbiter boom sensor system extension. A cable snag at the end of the OBSS had prevented a full inspection after launch. Spacewalkers cleared the snag, so the arm should be fully operational Monday. Other imagery and engineering data was used to fill in the gaps in the post-launch inspection.
Tuesday will focus on cabin stowage and checkout of Atlantis' reaction control system and its flight control surfaces. Landing at Kennedy Space Center is scheduled for 7:48 a.m. Wednesday.