Sir Paul McCartney awakened the crew of Atlantis today with a special message and the song "Good Day Sunshine," starting a day for the final shuttle crew that will be highlighted by a call from President Barack H. Obama.
"Good morning guys!" McCartney said in a message recorded pre-launch for the final space shuttle crew. "Wake up! And good luck on this, your last mission. Well done!"
McCartney's wakeup call came at 11:59 p.m. CDT Thursday, 30 minutes later than Atlantis' crew had been scheduled to wake up. It was delayed to give the crew time to make up for the sleep they lost over the course of the night due to the failure of one of the shuttle's five general purpose computers.
At 5:07 p.m. on Thursday, a failure alarm rang on board Atlantis, tripped by a problem with General Purpose Computer No. 4 (GPC-4). Only two of the shuttle's computer are needed when the shuttle is orbiting the Earth, so the functions that that computer had been responsible for were simply transferred to another computer. But the crew spent 40 minutes of their sleep time working through the procedures to do so, and elected to make that time up by sleeping in for 30 minutes.
Commander Chris Ferguson and pilot Doug Hurley took about 40 minutes of their morning to work with GPC-4, reloading its software to get it back up and running. It has now been added back to the common set of GPCs and is operating normally, processing data.
Mission Control in Houston is continuing to evaluate the "dump" of data from GPC-4 that Atlantis' crew sent down earlier today to determine what caused its failure. As of now, GPCs 1, 2 and 4 are in "run" and GPC 3 is in "standby." All four of the primary computers are processing data.
With the computer recovery's behind them, much of the rest of the crew's day will be again be spent transferring cargo to and from the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module. But the crew will take several breaks - at 5:44 a.m., 7:04 a.m. and 8:24 a.m. - to talk with reporters back on Earth.
And before they turn in for the night they'll take one more break to answer a call from the White House — President Obama is scheduled to call and talk with the crews of Atlantis and the International Space Station (ISS) at 11:29 a.m. CDT.
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 8, July 15
1978 The first pair of solid rocket boosters, empty of their solid propellents, arrive at Marshall Space Flight Center, Ala. to be mated with orbiter Enterprise and an external tank to undergo vertical ground vibration tests in MSFC's Dynamic Test Stand. The tests marked the first time ever that the entire space shuttle vehicle was mated together vertically.
2001 Using Canadarm2, the Quest airlock is lifted out of shuttle Atlantis' payload bay and installed on the International Space Station's Unity node. The berthing was completed as STS-104 spacewalkers Mike Gernhardt and Jim Reilly floated nearby, helping guide the airlock to its berthing port.
2009 Space shuttle Endeavour lifts off on the STS-127 mission to the International Space Station, its 23rd mission and the 29th visit by a shuttle to assemble the orbiting laboratory. On board Endeavour is a "front porch" for the station's Kibo laboratory and a new crew member for Expedition 20.
2011 U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to the final crew of the space shuttle from the Oval Office in the White House.
July 15: Solid rocket boosters mated to Enterprise in 1978; Endeavour lifts off on STS-127 in 2009.
Media interviews, a news conference with reporters at NASA centers and in Japan, and a call from President Barack Obama highlighted Atlantis' crew activities for Flight Day 8.
Between those events, it was back to the demanding work of transferring cargo between the space shuttle and space station. The unloading of the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module's 9,400 pounds of supplies was about 70 percent complete and packing its 5,700 pounds of homeward bound material had begun.
In addition to the transfer work, mission specialist Rex Walheim and ISS flight engineer Mike Fossum worked to resize U.S. spacesuits to be left on the station.