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An extra day for some extra workposted March 4, 2011 6:44 a.m. CST

Space shuttle Discovery's crew will be getting in some extra work inside the new Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) Leonardo Friday in the first of two days that have been added to the STS-133 mission.

Their day started at 3:23 a.m. CST to the chords of "The Ritual/ Ancient Battle/ 2nd Kroykah," — better known as the Star Trek fight song — from the soundtrack of the original Star Trek television series.

"Hope you enjoyed that music," said capcom Mike Massimino in Mission Control. "That music comes to you from your training team. They're very proud of the job you are doing and making them look good."

"Thanks to our training team. We've had just a super training team that a great job with us and we really enjoyed training and had a lot of fun with them all the way through the flow. So, thanks to them," replied STS-133 mission commander Steve Lindsey.

The additional days were added to the mission to allow Discovery's crew more time to help the International Space Station crew members get the PMM Leonardo unpacked and set up for permanent life in orbit and to help with equipment repair.

Commander Steve Lindsey, pilot Eric Boe, mission specialists Michael Barratt, Alvin Drew, Steve Bowen and Nicole Stott, together with station flight engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli will spend much of their day working on various PMM-related tasks. They will be installing fixtures inside the module, unpacking items sent up inside and removing the Express Rack 8 for installation in the Destiny laboratory.

They will also take some time to talk with students and reporters on the ground.

At just after 6:00 a.m., the NASA Educational Technology services team and student interns working at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. posed questions to the crew selected by students through the NASA education Taking Up Space blog.

At 9:48 a.m., all 12 members of the combined shuttle and station crews will gather to answer questions from reporters during the Joint Crew News Conference.

Earlier this morning, the station crew investigated the cause of a smoke alarm in the Russian Pirs docking compartment. Commander Scott Kelly used a compound specific combustion product analyzer (CSCPA) to take samples of the air in the compartment.

"They've got the panel open, readings on the CSCPA are all zero, and no indication of anything generating smoke, no odor, etcetera," said Kelly.

Mission Controls Moscow and Houston declared it to be a false alarm. In the past, dust particles have been known to cause similar false alarms and the crew was never in any danger. The flight controllers and crew will continue to investigate the cause of today's alarm.
Discovery's crew reflects on shuttle's final flightposted March 4, 2011 11:17 a.m. CST

Discovery's six astronauts gathered with their International Space Station counterparts in the Destiny laboratory Friday morning to answer reporters' questions.

Discovery's commander Steven Lindsey, replying to a question asked by collectSPACE, remarked about the time that he and his crewmates have devoted to reflecting on STS-133 being the final flight of their spacecraft.

"We've been very busy during our mission, as all space shuttle missions and space station missions are, so mostly we've probably spending 95 percent to 99 percent of our time just doing the work and getting the work done," said Lindsey. "When you are really busy like that, you are focused on doing the tasks correctly, making sure you get everything done as it's supposed to be done, and you don't miss anything."


Credit: NASA

However, there are times I know personally when I have been reflecting about it being the last mission and about how wonderful a vehicle it is. Probably, when we were coming up and docking, and when you look out the Cupola windows you can look right into Discovery's payload bay and see the wings and see 'Discovery' written on the wings. Times like that I really reflected about what a great vehicle its been, 39 missions, nearly one year on orbit and think about the things that that vehicle has done."

"It is just really inspiring to me and kind of bittersweet. And quite frankly, sad that knowing when we land, that it will be it for this vehicle," Lindsey remarked.

Asked by collectSPACE to describe the view of Discovery docked to the station during his spacewalks, mission specialist Alvin Drew echoed his commander's words.

"Just to have Discovery right there, filling our entire visor, up close and personal, you realize it's a magnificent ship," shared Drew. "It's huge, it's complex. Just a wonderful, completely capable vehicle."

"To be out there working on, around or near it, it's just a privilege to be part of the legacy of Discovery. It seems like a blessing," Drew added.


Credit: NASA TV

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