After several days of wakeup calls from celebrities, the STS-135 crew kicked off their 10th day in space with a message from some of the stars of the space shuttle program.
"Good morning Atlantis, from your friends at Stennis Space Center," said Stennis employees in a message recorded before launch. "It's time to fire up your engines — laissez les bons temps rouler!"
"Laissez les bons temps rouler," is a Cajun French phrase that translates "Let the good times roll." Stennis, located in southern Mississippi, 50 miles from New Orleans, is home to the test stands that verified each of the main engines that helped propel space shuttles into low Earth orbit — including the three used in the STS-135 launch — was in good working order before it was installed.
The message was fittingly preceded by the wakeup song, "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang, which was played for mission specialist Sandy Magnus.
Flight Day 10 will see the completion of the crew's transfer work inside the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module, before they closed its hatch and returns it to the shuttle's cargo bay on Monday. They started the day with 96 percent of the work inside Raffaello done.
Meanwhile on the ground, data processing experts in Mission Control have deemed space shuttle Atlantis’ General Purpose Computer (GPC) 4 to be healthy after reviewing data from its failure on Thursday evening and observing its stable operation ever since.
They believe an unknown hardware glitch caused the computer to shut down. Commander Chris Ferguson reassigned GPC-4 to again serve in the shuttle systems management role that it had served prior to failing. GPC-1 will act as the guidance, navigation and control (GNC) computer. GPCs 2 and 3 will be in the standby mode.
Each day that the final space shuttle mission is in flight, collectSPACE plans to highlight milestones and events from the space shuttle's history that also occurred on the same day over the past three decades. "Today in Space Shuttle History" will also note "lasts" being set by the STS-135 mission.
STS-135 Flight Day 10, July 17
1959 Three-time space shuttle mission specialist and the current director of flight crew operations, Janet Kavandi is born. Kavandi flew on Discovery's STS-91 mission in 1998, with Endeavour on STS-99 in 2000, and as part of the STS-104 crew on Atlantis in 2001.
1997 The first and only re-flight in space shuttle history, STS-94 lands at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A failed fuel cell cut short Columbia's earlier attempt to fly the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL). The STS-83 crew flew again as STS-94, this time completing their 16-day science mission.
2011 STS-135 commander Chris Ferguson and pilot Doug Hurley answer questions from students at NASA Explorer Schools across the United States, in the last interactive educational event with a space shuttle crew.
July 17, 1997: Space shuttle Columbia lands after the STS-94 mission at Kennedy Space Center.
Moving-in days on the International Space Station are nearing completion for the station and shuttle crews.
The 9,400 pounds of equipment and supplies brought up by space shuttle Atlantis in the multipurpose logistics module Raffaello have been moved to the International Space Station. The loading of Raffaello with almost 5,700 pounds of unneeded equipment and trash is also almost finished.
"All the cargo that [came] up to space station has been transferred over — that was actually completed a couple of days ago — and today they have packed Raffaello with all the return cargo that's going to be coming back to Earth," said station flight director Chris Edelen.
"We delivered 9,403 pounds of cargo in the multipurpose logistics module up to the station and we are returning 5,666 pounds of cargo inside the logistics module. So all that is packed up," said Edelen.
The Raffaello module is scheduled to be unberthed early Monday from the station's Harmony node and secured in Atlantis' cargo bay for the ride home.
"This wraps up 10 years of MPLM supplying the space station with cargo and resupply items. It has brought up over 50 tons of internal cargo and we've returned over 20 tons of cargo," said Jeremy Owen, assembly and checkout officer, from Misson Control.
"That's a pretty impressive number, because we don't really have another way to get large amounts of cargo to the ground," replied Sandy Magnus, STS-135 mission specialist. "So the MPLMs have served us well and they've been incredible workhorses for the program here and International Space Station in particular."
In addition to closing out Raffaello, the astronauts are almost complete moving science experiment results to Atlantis' middeck for their return to Earth. Magnus and commander Chris Ferguson worked a little over an hour continuing to move experiments and equipment to and from Atlantis after their midday meal.