At 5:52 a.m. CDT, following leak checks, ISS Expedition 23 commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineer Alexander Skvortsov opened the hatch to the Mini Research Module-1 (MRM-1) Rassvet to install an air filter and duct work to facilitiate airflow, and remove the docking mechanism that was used to berth the module earlier in the mission.
"Everything looks normal, everything is great," commented Kotov after the hatch was opened.
The 11,000-pound module was attached to the nadir, or Earth-facing port of the Zarya service module on the International Space Station Tuesday, where it will increase the capabilities of the ISS by providing workstations for payloads and experiments. Rassvet also provides a new docking port for Russian spacecraft.
Full entry into Rassvet and transfer of the 3,086 pounds of NASA cargo it holds will occur after Atlantis departs.
Rassvet Mini-Research Module-1. Credit: NASA TV
The astronauts woke to Elvis Costello's "Welcome to the Working Week" at 12:59 a.m. CDT, dedicated to yesterday's lead spacewalker, Stephen Bowen.
The STS-132 crew will have a few hours of off duty time in the afternoon, but otherwise, the day will largely focus on preparations for the mission's third and final spacewalk.
Garrett Reisman, Mike Good and Bowen will gather and prepare the tools needed for the excurision and configure the Quest airlock. Commander Ken Ham, pilot Tony Antonelli, and mission specialist Piers Sellers will join them to review the procedures before Reisman and Good settle in to spend the night "camping out" in the airlock.
Ham, Antonelli, Sellers and ISS flight engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson will talk with the Associated Press, Fox News Radio, and CBS News at 7:25 a.m. CDT.
STS-132 commander Ken Ham joined in with past and present members of Mission Control (MCC) Thursday morning to recognize Lonnie Schmitt as the first flight controller to reach his 100th shuttle mission.
"This is truly a momentous occassion," radioed Ham from onboard space shuttle Atlantis. "We were just kicking this around on the flight deck here between us who have spent a lot of time in MCC as capcom and know a lot of the flight controllers and offhand, we can't come up with any other individual that we know of that has been around as a flight controller since STS-1."
PROP Lonnie Schmitt at his console in Mission Control. Credit: NASA
Schmitt, who joined the Shuttle Propulsion Systems Group in Feb. 1980, worked the first shuttle mission from a backroom as the Orbit 2 manual entry device (MED) operator for the Mission Operations Computer.
He first took a seat in the front room, the Flight Control Room, or FCR (pronounced 'ficker'), as an Orbit Propulsion Officer on the planning shift for STS-41B in Jan. 1984. He went on to serve as Lead Prop Officer for 30 flights, including STS-133, the penultimate shuttle mission scheduled for September.
"Lonnie has done some amazing things," said Ham. "I think that kind of defines what may be a true American hero really is: someone who dedicates their life, for what we all know is not a ton of pay, for the betterment of our country and our space program."
More than 100 flight controllers, some since retired from Mission Control, came together Thursday to celebrate Schmitt's career.
"He's our first member of the century club," remarked Mike Sarafin, lead shuttle flight director for the STS-132 mission.
"It is very, very rare that somebody does it as long and as well as Lonnie does it, and we were just proud to celebrate with him today in Mission Control with folks who have had an opportunity to work with him, past and present."
Interview with PROP Lonnie Schmitt. Credit: NASA TV
About Lonnie Schmitt
Joined the Shuttle Propulsion Systems group on Feb. 20, 1980
Worked STS-1 as the Orbit 2 Manual Entry Device (MED) operator for the Mission Operations Computer (MOC)
Achieved first certification as an Orbit and Entry Consumables Officer in August 1981 and worked STS-2 in that console position
Achieved certification as an Orbit Propulsion Officer in January 1984 and worked his first FCR flight on the STS-41B Planning Shift
Served as Lead Prop Officer for 29 shuttle flights; will be 30 by shuttle retirement as he is the Lead Prop for STS-133
First Lead Prop assignment was STS-51G which flew in June 1985
Three communication satellite deploys and Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy (SPARTAN-1) deploy and rendezvous/retrieval
Highlights from his Lead flights:
Deployed 7 satellites
3 DoD missions
Tested R-bar approach method on STS-66 in preparation for Shuttle/Mir missions
STS-67 advertised as first flight connected to the internet
STS-69 marked the first time 2 payloads deployed and retrieved during same mission
STS-79 had the first U.S. crew exchange aboard Mir
Simulated Functional Cargo Block (FGB) being attached to ISS Node 1 in preparation for STS-88 with a free flyer on STS-85
STS-123 was first flight involving all ISS partners
Delivered 3 of 4 solar array assemblies to ISS (P6 on STS-97 (first set), P3/P4 on -115, and S6 on -119 (final set))
Delivered ISS modules and components, including Quest airlock, Japanese Experiment Logistics Module Pressurized Section (JLP), Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (Dextre), and 2 ELCs of spare parts (2 CMGs, 2 NTAs, ATA, etc.)
Propulsion Systems team selected to 'hang the plaque' for STS-79 and recognized for "their management of creative propellant conservation techniques that led to the successful accomplishment of all planned maneuvers and tests."
Silver Snoopy Award for STS-57
Space Flight Awareness Award for "his outstanding support as Lead PROP Officer for the STS-97/4A flight and for his integration of the new Government Accountable Function (GAF) Flight Initialization Data Pack (FIDP) process for Space Flight Systems Department.";
Rotary National Space Achievement Stellar Award; recognized for outstanding career and contributions to the success of the Nation's space program
Instrumental in establishing propellant management techniques for free flyers, such as SPARTAN and SPAS
Worked "too many to count" pre-flight and in-flight OMS/RCS anomalies; work/resolutions contributed to improvements in ground processing and on-orbit operations of the propulsion systems
Considered a group historian with excellent recollection of what failure(s) occurred on which flight, why certain way of operating came about, and why changes to operations occurred
Lonnie Schmitt's 100 Shuttle Flights (Bold denotes Lead Prop Officer)