INTRO: The U-S and Russian crew of the space shuttle
"Atlantis" performed maintenance on the International
Space Station Wednesday, to get it ready for the first
long-duration crew, later this year. V-O-A Science
Correspondent David McAlary tells us that battery
repair was tougher than expected.
TEXT: The focus of the work was to bring full power
to two Russian-built segments of the space station.
Astronaut Ed Lu and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko added
three new batteries to five already installed in the
"Zvezda" command module, where station crews will live
and work, initially.
The three batteries had been kept back on Earth to
conserve weight for Zvezda's launch in July.
But, down the hall in the Russian "Zarya" cabin,
astronaut Dan Burbank and cosmonaut Boris Morukov had
difficulty with replacing a battery. Four small nut-
plates blocked some bolts holding a bracket on the
battery's voltage converter. Lead station Flight
Director Mark Ferring says they did what any of us
would do when facing a home improvement problem: They
searched for solution in the station's took kit.
/// FERRING ACTUALITY ///
The crew did a little bit of garage work and we found
some tools. We had a chisel and a hammer and there
were some rivets holding the nut-plates in place.
After a few thoughts and words from us and talking
with Moscow [Mission Control] to make sure everybody
was okay [agreed] with that, we proceeded to go whack
at that a couple times and we got the nut-plates off
and after that was removed and the bracket was
removed, the rest of the task went normally.
/// END ACTUALITY ///
Other astronauts have begun transferring a few
kilograms of cargo of the 22-hundred kilograms brought
up on the shuttle last week and by a Russian supply
ship, last month. But the U-S space agency official
in charge of the transfers - Sharon Castle - says most
of the offloading is yet to come.
/// CASTLE ACTUALITY ///
There's a lot of activity yet to go. We, of course,
wanted to get some of the installations done first so
we could get those down under the floor before we
started transfers in earnest, so in the next couple of
days, it's going to be hot and heavy.
/// END ACTUALITY ///
NASA has given the Atlantis team an extra day to work
in the space station, shortening the list of things
the first long-duration crew must do to prepare Zvezda
when it arrives in November. (SIGNED)
13-Sep-2000 07:20 AM LOC (13-Sep-2000 1120 UTC)
Source: Voice of America