STS-115 Mission Updates: Part Two

STS-115 Mission Updates: Part Two
A view from STS-115 spacewalker Joseph Tanner's helmet camera shows a view of the International Space Station - its new Port 4 solar arrays at the top right - in a Sept. 15, 2006 spacewalk. The older Port 6 solar arrays and ISS Ku-band antenna are on the left.
(Image: © NASA TV.)

First Spacewalk Ends forShuttle Astronauts
12 September 2006 11:46 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - With Atlantis spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper back inside the International Space Station's (ISS) Questairlock, the outer hatch has been shut and repressurization is underway.

Hatch closure came at about11:39 a.m. EDT (1539 GMT). The spacewalk ran about six hours and 26 minutes,just four minutes shy of its six and one-half hour estimate.

Today's spacewalk was the 70thin support of ISS assembly and the 23nd staged from the Quest airlock.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks. A wrap up oftoday's spacewalk will be posted to SPACE.com's homepage shortly.

NASA is broadcastingAtlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited to follow theshuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle SpacewalkersReenter ISS Airlock
12 September 2006 11:21 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Atlantis shuttle astronauts JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper are reentering the International Space Station's (ISS)Quest airlock after completing all their assigned tasks for today's spacewalk.

The spacewalkers have passed thesix-hour mark of today's planned 6.5-hour spacewalk.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

OneSolar Array Box Unlatched, Spacewalkers Clean Up
12 September 200611:06 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - With their spacewalktasks complete, astronauts JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper are cleaning up their work sites outside theInternational Space Station (ISS) as mission controllers unlatched the firstsolar array blanket box positioned earlier today.

Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piperaccomplished all of their primary tasks and even squeezed in several othersscheduled for their STS-115 crewmates tomorrow during today's 6.5-hourspacewalk.

They are now packing away theirtools and arranging their tethers.

Meanwhile, NASA ISS flightcontrollers unlatched the forward solar array blanket box to prepare for thearray's planned Thursday deployment.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle SpacewalkersBrace New ISS Hardware
12 September 2006 10:52 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Shuttle spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper are finishing work to install extra braces and removecovers on hardware supporting a wheel-like SolarAlpha Rotary Joint (SARJ).

The tasks are likely to be thelast for today's spacewalk outside the International SpaceStation (ISS).

Tanner is installing one finalbrace to strengthen the SARJ unit, which will eventually rotate several moretrusses in addition to the Port 4segment to keep ISS solar arrays facing Sun.

Stefanyshyn-Piper is completingwork to remove thermal shrouds in the Port 3/Port 4 integrated truss segment,which their STS-115 crewmates delivered to the ISS on Monday.

Once those tasks are complete,the spacewalkers are expected to clean up their work sites.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Bolt Escapes FromSpacewalker Outside ISS
12 September 2006 10:28 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Astronaut JosephTanner has reported that a bolt, spring and washer have popped free andescaped his grasp as he removed a thermal cover from equipment on theInternational Space Station's (ISS) new Port 3/Port 4 integrated trusses.

Tanner was removing a launchlock that secured the two joined trusses' Solar Alpha Rotary Joint when thebolt escaped.

"It wasbreezing across the surface of structure," said Tanner of bolt and spring tomission controllers, who will track the lost items to make sure they don't posea threat to station hardware. "I suspect this might happen again...those springsare pretty nippy."

Tanner andStefanyshyn-Piper have passed the five-hour mark of their planned 6.5-hourspacewalk. They are now performing extra tasks originally scheduled for aWednesday spacewalk.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Spacewalkers CompleteMost ISS Construction Tasks
12 September 2006 9:51 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper have completed just about all of their primary tasks fortoday's spacewalk, less than five hours into their 6.5-hour activity outsidethe InternationalSpace Station, NASA commentator Kylie Clem reported.

The two astronauts are nowpushing ahead with chores scheduled for a Wednesday spacewalk - to be performedby their STS-115 crewmates DanielBurbank and StevenMacLean - to make the most of their extra time.

Tanner removed a thermal coverfor one of many electrical boxes on the new Port3/Port 4 trusses his crewmates delivered to the ISS. Stefanyshyn-Piper willwork on a set of spring-loaded clamps on one segment and install additionalsupport beams. Both astronauts will remove launch locks - one a piece - from awheel-like joint that will rotate the outboard Port 4 truss to track the Sun inthe future.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Power Reaches NewStation Hardware in Spacewalk
12 September 2006 9:38 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Mission controllershave told two spacewalkers toiling outside the International Space Station(ISS) that power lines are in place for the motors of a car-sized joint thatwill turn outboard trusses and solar arrays to track the Sun in the future.

Spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper are still ahead of scheduled in their planned 6.5-hourspacewalk, which began at 5:17 a.m. EDT (0917 GMT).

They are completing work ondrive lock assemblies, motors for the wheel-like Solar Alpha Rotary Joint(SARJ) that on the station's Port 3 truss, which was installed with itsaccompanying segment Port 4 this morning.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Spacewalkers ZoomThrough Orbital Construction
12 September 2006 9:12 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Now approaching the four-hourmark, spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper remain one hour ahead of schedule as they work outsidethe InternationalSpace Station (ISS).

The two STS-115 astronauts areoutfitting the station's new Port 3/Port 4 (P3/P4) integrated truss with powercables and primed its solar arrays for deployment later in their 11-daymission.

Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piper arenow set to work together to replace covers on equipment supporting a car-sizedjoint that will rotate the outboard P4 truss and its solar arrays to track theSun once they're fully activated.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle Astronaut GetsAhead in Spacewalk
12 September 2006 8:50 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Well ahead of schedulein today's extravehicular activity, lead spacewalker JosephTanner is performing an extra task originally set for a later STS-115outing.

Tanner is removing what NASAengineers call a circuit interrupt device atop the station's Z1 truss, whichstems from the outpost's Unity module. The task was originally scheduled forthe third STS-115 spacewalk, NASA officials said.

Meanwhile, Tanner's spacewalkingpartner HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper is installing a drive lock assembly on the Solar AlphaRotary Joint (SARJ), which will allow the wheel-like device to turn outboardstation segments to track the Sun.

Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piperwill also conduct the STS-115 mission's third spacewalk.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Three Hours in,Spacewalk Goes Smoothly
12 September 2006 8:24 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - The first spacewalk of NASA's STS-115 mission tothe InternationalSpace Station (ISS) continues to go smoothly as astronauts JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper work outside the orbital laboratory.

Tanner has completed linking upa set of power cables to serve as a lifeline between the ISS and its new Port3/Port 4 (P3/P4) truss segments.

"Wow, I need a break," Tannersaid.

Stefanyshyn-Piper is sliding aseries of support struts into place as well.

The two spacewalkers have beenconsistently ahead of schedule during today's planned 6.5-hour spacewalk. Cladin NASA spacesuits, the two astronauts stepped outside the station's Questairlock at about 5:17 a.m. EDT (0917 GMT).

"The team is working hard tokeep up with you guys," astronaut Pam Melroy, serving as spacecraftcommunicator, told the STS-115 crew.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Astronauts Work on NewTruss Segment's Midpoint
12 September 2006 7:58 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper have both moved to the midpoint between the International SpaceStation's (ISS) new Port 3/Port 4 (P3/P4) truss segments after readying thestructures solar arrays for future deployment.

Tanner has completed theinstallation of several drive locks that will allow a wheel-like joint to turnthe entire P4 truss so its solar arrays can track the Sun later this year. Heis now moving to connect more power lines between the P3 truss and ISS.

Stefanyshyn-Piper continues toshift a set of support struts into place to strengthen the structure.

The astronauts are about onehour and 45 minutes ahead of schedule in today's planned 6.5-hour spacewalk.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Spacewalkers PositionNew ISS Solar Arrays
12 September 2006 7:29 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Shuttle astronauts JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper have completed work to swing out boxes and canistersholding the tightly-packed solar arrays on the portside end of the International SpaceStation (ISS).

Tanner has moved back to themidpoint between the newly delivered Port 3(P3) and Port 4 (P4) trusses to work on its Solar Alpha Rotary Joint(SARJ). He and Stefanyshyn-Piper are expected to install a series of drivelocks that will ultimately allow the SARJ to rotate the entire P4 truss totrack the Sun once its solar wings are deployed.

Stefanyshyn-Piper will install aset struts to strengthen the newly delivered truss segments.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA is broadcastingAtlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited to follow theshuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Spacewalkers Swing OutSolar Array Mast Drums
12 September 2006 7:09 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper are working to swing out the solar array boxes thatcontain newpower-generating wings for the International SpaceStation (ISS) as they toil at the end of the outpost's port side.

Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piper arecompleting work to deploy a pair of cylindrical drums - containing the pop-upmasts that support the new solar arrays - as they work ahead of schedule intoday's 6.5-hour spacewalk.

"Boy this thing moves, I'dforgot," Tanner said of one of the two solar array mast cylinders, which arelarger than a phone booth.

Stefanyshyn-Piper is working tofully deploy the second cylinder assembly and has asked for Tanner's help.

Tanner helped install the spacestation's first U.S. solar arrays on the Port 6 (P6) truss in late 2000. He andStefanyshyn-Piper on working on the station's new Port3/Port 4 (P3/P4) segment delivered Monday by their shuttle Atlantis.

Tanner is also pressing ahead towork on the P3/P4's Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ), a wheel-like joint thatwill allow the entire P4 truss to rotate 360 degrees to track the Sun. The SARJunit is the first of its kind ever hauled to the ISS.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA is broadcastingAtlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited to follow theshuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle SpacewalkersAhead of Schedule
12 September 2006 6:45 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Astronaut Daniel Burbank has told his spacewalkingcolleagues JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper that they are well ahead of schedule by about 45 minutesas they work outside the International Space Station (ISS).

"I can't believe this, I'mworking on a solar array at night, again," said Tanner, who helped deliver thestation's first solar arrays during his STS-97 spaceflight in 2000.

"That's what you get for workingso fast," Burbank said.

So far, Tanner andStefanyshyn-Piper have connected a series of power and data cables between thestation and its new Port 3/Port 4 truss segment and released launch restraintson the structure's solar array boxes and gimbal assemblies.

Everything is goingsmoothly for the highly trained spacewalking team.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Spacewalkers HailAtlantis Shuttle's Health
12 September 2006 6:22 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper lauded the news that their Atlantis shuttle appears to bein good health and will not need additional heat shield inspections.

"That's wonderful, that meanswe've got a good vehicle," Tanner said, while he and Stefanyshyn-Piper worked218 statute miles above Earth outside the International SpaceStation (ISS).

Engineers decided Monday thatfocused inspections of Atlantis would not be needed.

Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piper areabout one hour into today's planned 6.5-hour spacewalk to wire up the newlydelivered Port3/Port 4 (P3/P4) trusses with power and data lines.

Tanner successfully connectedthe first six of those cables while Stefanyshyn-Piper freed restraints on thefour solar array blanket boxes - two for each array - that house the folded upsolar panels to be deployed later this week. Tanner is removing similarrestraints on a gimbal assembly that will allow the arrays to turn once deployed.

"Somebody stick your head in thewindow so I can say hi," Tanner said to his fellow STS-115 astronauts insidethe ISS.

Tanner is making his sixthspacewalk while Stefanyshyn-Piper is making her orbital debut.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

New Truss WiringUnderway, Solar Arrays Unlocked
12 September 2006 6:09 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - In her spacewalk debut, shuttle astronaut HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper is removing a series of restraints that secured two solararrays to their Port 4 (P4) truss home during its launch towards the InternationalSpace Station (ISS).

"Wow, that's a nice view,"Stefanyshyn-Piper said of the Earth.

Stefanyshyn-Piper's spacewalkingpartner, veteran orbital worker JosephTanner, has completed connecting six data and power cables between thenewly installed Port 3 (P3) truss and its Port 1 (P1) segment mooring port.

Tanner, Stefanyshyn-Piper andtheir STS-115 crewmates delivered the integrated P3/P4 segment to the ISS Mondayafter docking at the orbital laboratory. The truss elements were then mated tothe end of the P1 truss early today.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Spacewalkers Head to NewISS Truss Work Site
12 September 2006 5:49 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Less than 30 minutesinto today's spacewalk, Atlantis shuttle astronauts JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper are headed to the end of the newly installed Port 3/Port4 (P3/P4) trusses for their first major tasks.

Tanner is tacking the connectionof power and data cables between the station's Port 1 (P1) truss and P3segment. Meanwhile, Stefanyshyn-Piper headed to the end of the 45.3-foot(13-meter) integrated Port 3/Port 4 segment, where she will release launchrestraints on the two solar array blanket boxes holding folded solar panels.

Click herefor SPACE.com's preview of the STS-115 mission spacewalks.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle Astronauts BeginISS Spacewalk
12 September 2006 5:29 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - The first spacewalk of NASA's STS-115 mission isunderway as Atlantis shuttle astronauts JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper stepped outside International SpaceStation (ISS).

The spacewalk officially beganat 5:17 a.m. EDT (0917 GMT), NASA said, and is expected to run about 6.5 hoursas Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piper connect power lines to the newly installedP3/P4 truss.

"Welcome to space," veteranspacewalker Tanner told Stefanyshyn-Piper, who is making her spacewalk debutduring STS-115.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Spacewalkers Open ISSAirlock Hatch
12 September 2006 5:19 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper have opened the outer hatch of the Quest airlock aboardthe InternationalSpace Station (ISS) and are preparing to begin their mission's firstspacewalk.

Hatch opening came at about 5:15a.m. EDT (0915 GMT).

"The hatch is open," Tannersaid. "And there's a shuttle out there."

Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piper areset to connect a series of crucial power lines to the Port3/Port 4 truss segment which was successfully mated to the end of thestation's Port 1 truss earlier today.

All four motorized bolts are nowfirmly holding the linked trusses in place.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Atlantis SpacewalkersDepressurize ISS Airlock
12 September 2006 4:56 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - With the Port3/Port 4 truss segment firmly attached to the International Space Station(ISS), STS-115 spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper are depressurizing the outpost's airlock to connect vitalpower cables.

P3./P4 is now a permanent partof the ISS and has raised the orbital laboratory's mass from 432,000 pounds(195,951 kilograms) to 467,000 (211,827 kilograms), NASA officials said.

Tanner and Stefanyshyn-Piper areconducting the firstof three planned spacewalks for their STS-115 mission. They will connect 13vital cables to provide power and data to the P3 truss, and then move theswing-out boxes and canisters containing two, 120-foot solar arrays into placelater today.

The astronauts are expected to stepoutside the Quest airlock hatch at 5:15 a.m. EDT (0915 GMT) in NASA spacesuits,with Tanner's marked with a red stripe and Stefanyshyn-Piper's a spotlessall-white.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

New Trusses Attached toISS
12 September 2006 4:35 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - A 17.5-ton set of new trusses and solar arrays hasa firm grasp on the InternationalSpace Station (ISS), a critical move before today's spacewalk begins.

STS-115 mission specialist StevenMacLean and ISSExpedition 13 flight engineer JeffreyWilliams have partially attached the Port 3/Port 4 integrated truss to theport end of the station's main girder using the station'srobotic arm. Three of four motorized bolts have secured bit into theirsockets to take a firm hold on the ISS.

The 35,000-pound(15,875-kilogram) P3/P4truss is the first new segment to be added to the ISS since its connectionpoint - the Port 1 (P1) truss - arrived in November 2002.

At the end of P4, a set of boxesand cylindrical drums house the folded up solar arrays and mast that willprovided more power to the ISS once activated in December.

Three securing bolts arerequired to be in place before STS-115 spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper ventureoutside the ISS today at 5:15 a.m. EDT (0915 GMT) to begin connecting 13umbilical cables to the new truss segment.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' spacewalk activities via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle AstronautsDeliver ISS Trusses, Prepare for Bed
11 September 2006 3:35 p.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Nine astronauts aboard the International SpaceStation (ISS) and Atlantis orbiter are preparing to hitthe sack after a busy day of joint operations.

Atlantis' six-astronaut STS-115crew, which dockedat the station and deliveredthe massive 17.5-ton Port3/Port 4 (P3/P4) trusses and solar arrays this morning, are set to go tosleep at about 4:15 p.m. EDT (2015 GMT). But they won't all gather together.

While STS-115 commander BrentJett, pilot ChrisFerguson and mission specialists DanielBurbank and StevenMacLean return to sleeping bags aboard Atlantis, spacewalkers JosephTanner and HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper have locked themselves in the space station's Questairlock.

The two spacewalkers will sleepat a lower pressure and breathe pure oxygen during the night, which will helppurge their bodies of nitrogen to prevent the bends while they perform a6.5-hour spacewalkTuesday. Known as a spacewalk campout,the procedure is being used for the first time tonight.

Meanwhile, the three-astronaut Expedition13 team of PavelVinogradov, JeffreyWilliams and ThomasReiter aboard the ISS will retire by about 3:45 p.m. EDT (1945 GMT) after along day of welcoming visitors, showing them the ropes and receiving the newtruss segments.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' docked mission via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Atlantis AstronautsReceive Warm ISS Welcome
11 September 2006 8:35 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - The six astronauts ofNASA's STS-115mission aboard Atlantisreceived a hearty welcome from three spaceflyers aboard the International SpaceStation (ISS) as they entered the orbital laboratory at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230GMT).

Hatch opening appears to havebeen delayed by extended leak checks, NASA spokesperson Bill Jeffs told SPACE.com.

But that delay did not appear todamper the spirits of either spacecraft crew. They traded smiles and handshakesas the Atlantis crew floated into the station's Destiny laboratory. A safetybriefing is among their first activities for what is now a joint-crew mission.

Click here for SPACE.com'swrap up of today's shuttle docking at the ISS.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' docked mission via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle Crew PrimesRobotic Arm to Deliver Cargo
11 September 2006 8:24 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - As the six-astronaut crew of the space shuttleAtlantis prepares to enter the International Space Station, missionspecialist Daniel Burbank is using the orbiter's robotic arm to grapple a17.5-ton set of trusses and solar arrays in the cargo bay.

The move is part of a time-savingeffort to position the $372 million Port 3/Port4 trusses and solar panelswithin arm's reach of the station's own robotic arm. Atlantis astronaut StevenMacLean will use the station's arm - the first time a Canadian has guidedthe Canadian-built ISS appendage - to grab the trusses later today and preparethem for a Tuesday installation.

Meanwhile,Atlantis' STS-115 crew continues to prepare to enter the ISS. Mission specialistHeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper reported an errant monitor was acting up, but the simple fixof merely switching it on and off a few times appears to have cleared theglitch, NASA officials said.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking operations via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle Astronauts, ISSCrew Prepare for Orbital Hello
11 September 2006 8:05 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Nine astronauts are preparing to greet each otherin person as they complete final preparations to open the hatches between theirtwo spacecraft.

Three astronauts aboard theInternational Space Station (ISS) and six others aboard the shuttle Atlantiswill meet after today's successful orbital docking.

Atlantis docked at the ISS at6:48 a.m. EDT (1048 GMT). A few last leak checks are complete, and the shuttlecrew will now equalize the pressure and open their hatch.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking operations via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Leak ChecksComplete on Shuttle Atlantis
11 September 2006 7:30 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Atlantis astronaut JosephTanner has reported that leak checks of the seal between the shuttle and the International SpaceStation (ISS) are complete.

The shuttle's STS-115 crew isnow preparing to open the hatch that separates their spacecraft from threewaiting astronauts aboard the ISS.

Atlantis docked at the ISS at6:48 a.m. EDT (1048 GMT). Hatch opening between the two orbital vehicles is setfor 7:52 a.m. EDT (1152 GMT), with a welcoming ceremony slated for 8:20 a.m.EDT (1220 GMT).

Aboard the ISS are long-durationastronauts PavelVinogradov (Russia's Federal Space Agency), JeffreyWilliams (NASA) and ThomasReiter (European Space Agency).

In addition to Tanner, STS-115commander BrentJett, pilot ChrisFerguson and mission specialists DanielBurbank, HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper and Canadian Space Agency astronaut StevenMacLean are aboard Atlantis.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking operations via NASA TV. You are invited tofollow the shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

ISS Takes Firm Holdof Shuttle Atlantis
11 September 2006 7:09 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - The International SpaceStation is taking a firm hold of NASA's space shuttle Atlantis afterhooks and latches sealed the two spacecraft together. Atlantis docked at theISS at 6:48 a.m. EDT (1048 GMT).

Aboard the ISS, Expedition13 flight engineer JeffreyWilliams has reported that the inner chamber of Atlantis' docking portreached its proper pressure to allow the shuttle's six-astronaut crew to enterthe space station.

Atlantis is docked at what'scalled a pressurized mating adapter, a sort of vestibule with two hatches - oneon the shuttle side and the other on the ISS - to bridge the two spacecraft.

Williams reported that leakchecks - to ensure a proper seal between Atlantis and the ISS - on the stationside are complete and has been given a go to open the docking port's innerhatch. Leak checks are just beginning aboard Atlantis.

NASA's Atlantis shuttle has at the International SpaceStation, where he and his STS-115 crewmates will spend the next weekinstalling a new addition to the orbital outpost.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Orbital Arrival:Shuttle Atlantis Docks at ISS
11 September 2006 6:51 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON - Shuttle commanderBrent Jett has deftly docked NASA's Atlantis orbiter at the International SpaceStation, where he and his STS-115 crewmates will spend the next weekinstalling a new addition to the orbital outpost.

Docking came at 6:48 a.m. EDT(1048 GMT) after an apparently flawless approach and a two-day spaceflight thatbegan with a Saturday launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Ridingaboard Atlantis alongside Jett are pilot ChrisFerguson and mission specialists JosephTanner, DanielBurbank, HeidemarieStefanyshyn-Piper and Canadian Space Agency astronaut StevenMacLean.

The sixastronauts are hauling a $371.8 million pair of massive truss segments and twowing-like solar arrays, which they will install to the station's port side thisweek. vAtlantis' arrival marks the first time the orbiter has reached the ISSsince October 2002 during NASA's last ISS construction mission.

 

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle AtlantisInches Toward ISS Docking
11 September 2006 6:36 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON. - NASA's space shuttle Atlantis isinching ever-closer to the International SpaceStation (ISS) and is now within 100 feet of the 200-ton orbital researchlaboratory.

STS-115shuttle commander Brent Jett is putting Atlantis through a series ofdelicate maneuvers to ease the 100-ton spacecraft towards its intended dockingport. Docking is set for 6:46 a.m. EDT (1046 GMT), and is expected to occur asAtlantis and the ISS fly 218 statute miles above the southern Pacific Ocean.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle Atlantis Goto Dock at ISS
11 September 2006 6:18 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON. - The spaceshuttle Atlantis has closed to within 207 feet from the International SpaceStation (ISS), with flight controllers giving the go ahead to dock at theorbital outpost.

Shuttle commander BrentJett is maneuvering Atlantis' ISS approach to a point 30 feet away from theshuttle's planned docking point a delicate rate of about one-tenth of a footper second.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Atlantis ShuttleCrew Close in on ISS
11 September 2006 6:08 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON. - The spaceshuttle Atlantis is now less than 400 feet from the International SpaceStation (ISS).

Shuttle commander BrentJett is guiding Atlantis to a point about 30 feet from the PressurizedMating Adapter-2 (PMA-2), a shuttle docking port at the end of NASA's Destinylaboratory at the ISS, NASA officials said. Jett should reach his target pointin about 15 minutes.

Atlantis remains on track todock at the ISS at about 6:46 a.m. EDT (1046 GMT). ISS flight controllers havegiven the shuttle a go to proceed with today's orbital rendezvous.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle AtlantisCompletes Orbital Flip
11 September 2006 5:54 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON. - The spaceshuttle Atlantis has completed its orbital ballet after executing a360-degree flip outside the International SpaceStation (ISS).

Shuttle commander BrentJett will now fly Atlantis from its current position - 600 feet directlybelow the ISS - to a spot just ahead of the orbital laboratory, known as theV-bar.

"It does provide some goodfootage," Jett said of Atlantis' orbital backflip in a NASA interview. "Butfrom a flying standpoint, it's not really any more difficult than any othertype flying we do for rendezvous."

During Atlantis' rotationalpitch maneuver, ISS astronauts photographed the shuttle's fragile heat shieldtiles. The images will be analyzed on Earth over the next few days.

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Atlantis ShuttleBegins Orbital Backflip at ISS
11 September 2006 5:39 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON. - Atlantisshuttle commander Brent Jett has initiated the start of the spacecraft's RotationalPitch Maneuver, a 360-degree flip just 600 feet below the International SpaceStation (ISS).

The eight-minute maneuver willgive astronauts aboard the ISS a clear view of Atlantis' tile-lined heatshield, which they will photograph for image analysts on Earth to study.

Atlantis is set to dock at theISS at 6:46 a.m. EDT (1046 GMT).

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the button at the left.

- Tariq Malik

Shuttle AtlantisFires Thrusters for ISS Rendezvous
11 September 2006 5:28 a.m. EDT

HOUSTON. - NASA's space shuttle Atlantis has firedits thrusters in the fourth - and last - planned midcourse correction maneuverbefore reaching the InternationalSpace Station (ISS).

The thruster burn occurred atabout 5:23 a.m. EDT (0923 GMT) as Atlantis closed within 1,600 feet of ISS asboth spacecraft flew high above the southern Pacific Ocean. Shuttlecommander Brent Jett is taking manual control of Atlantis for final dockingactivities.

Atlantis is hauling two newtrusses and a pair of solar arrays - weighing about 35,000 pounds in all -to the ISS, where they will be installed and activated with the help of threespacewalks.

Cameras board both Atlantis andthe ISS are returning images of one another as they fly in formation. Theshuttle is just over 45 minutes from initiating its orbital backflip - theRotational Pitch Maneuver.

Docking is still set for 6:46a.m. EDT (1046 GMT).

NASA isbroadcasting Atlantis' ISS docking live via NASA TV. You are invited to followthe shuttle's progress using SPACE.com's NASATV feed, which is available by clickinghere or using the

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