Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-132
Payload: MRM 1
Launch: May 14, 2010
Time: 2:20 p.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: May 26 @ approx. 8:30 a.m.
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility

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Tumultuous times

STS-132 Archive

Mission Status Center

By Justin Ray

Welcome to Spaceflight Now's live coverage of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-132 mission to the International Space Station. Text updates will appear automatically; there is no need to reload the page.
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SATURDAY, MAY 15, 2010
Flight Day 2 is wrapped up and the astronauts are in the midst of an 8-hour sleep period. Wakeup time for docking day is 3:20 a.m. EDT.
2149 GMT (5:49 p.m. EDT)
Analysts have determined that no avoidance maneuver by the International Space Station will be needed tonight to dodge of piece of orbital debris. It was determined a short time ago that the station and object won't pass close enough tomorrow to require any action.
2140 GMT (5:40 p.m. EDT)
Atlantis' reaction control jets have been fired for the latest course correction maneuver on the path to reach the space station. This burn lasted eight seconds and changed the shuttle's velocity by about two feet per second.
2105 GMT (5:05 p.m. EDT)
The rendezvous tools checkout by the crew is reported complete.
2050 GMT (4:50 p.m. EDT)
The Atlantis astronauts used a less-capable backup sensor system to inspect the shuttle's carbon composite nose cap and wing leading edge panels today after an overly-tight cable prevented them from using a more sophisticated, steerable sensor package. The crew lost several hours troubleshooting the problem, but the lead flight director said he was confident all the necessary data would be collected when all was said and done.

Read our full story.
1959 GMT (3:59 p.m. EDT)
The Orbiter Boom Sensor System is being locked down in the payload bay, its job of inspecting Atlantis' heat shield complete for today.

There were some parts of the vehicle that the crew couldn't get inspected today with the Plan B option they had to use. Mission managers will assess the options for clearing the heat shield going forward.

And the boom will be used again late in the mission for another round of observations to check for space debris impacts before Atlantis comes home.
1935 GMT (3:35 p.m. EDT)
The port wing sweeps by the inspection boom have been completed by the crew for today. It will take a day or two for ground analysts to review the data and declare the heat shield safe for re-entry.

The astronauts will return the 50-foot-long structure back into its cradle in the payload bay a short time from now.

The crew is scheduled for sleep at 7:20 p.m. EDT.
1915 GMT (3:15 p.m. EDT)
Sweeping back and forth, the inspection device was looking for any signs of damage that could have occurred during ascent yesterday.
1905 GMT (3:05 p.m. EDT)
Checks of the reinforced carbon-carbon panels on the leading edge of Atlantis' port wing are underway using sensor package No. 2 on the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. The crew had to switch to this package that's fixed in place on the boom versus the normal instruments because a snagged cable prevented the pan and tilt unit from moving fully today.
1840 GMT (2:40 p.m. EDT)
Mission specialist Piers Sellers is one of the robotic arm operators for today's heat shield inspections. He described the process in a pre-flight interview:

"There's a team of three of us who will take us in turn to work the arm and different parts of the procedure. This is a fascinating process. We get the big boom, grab it with the shuttle arm -- it's got cameras and sensors on the end -- and carefully wave it around all over the shuttle wings and the nose cap to inspect for damage. It's a very complex set of maneuvers. They're kind of automatic but the job as crew is to make sure that the system really is working the way that it is supposed to because this hardware comes very close to the wings and the nose of the shuttle and you don't want any slips."
1814 GMT (2:14 p.m. EDT)
The crew just extended the docking ring that will connect the shuttle Atlantis' port to the space station's Harmony module. The mechanism has springs and shock absorbers to ease the two spacecraft as they join together in orbit.
1808 GMT (2:08 p.m. EDT)
The crew has finished the nose cap survey already. The left wing inspections are next up in this multi-hour job to survey the shuttle to look for any signs of launch damage. The precautionary safety inspection has become a standard activity for all post-Columbia shuttle crews.
1754 GMT (1:54 p.m. EDT)
The centerline camera has been installed in the Orbiter Docking System to help commander Ken Ham during Sunday morning's approach to the space station
1735 GMT (1:35 p.m. EDT)
After waiting for another sunrise to come, the crew has started the nose cap inspections. Mission Control expects it will take an hour or less to complete this portion of today's heat shield checks.
1708 GMT (1:08 p.m. EDT)
The astronauts have swung the inspection boom into position out in front of Atlantis to get a look on the shuttle's nose cap.

Given the delays encountered this morning and only limited time left in the workday, Mission Control has opted to skip over some inspections of non-critical areas on Atlantis.
1653 GMT (12:53 p.m. EDT)
Inspections of space shuttle Atlantis' starboard wing just finished. The extensive data will be analyzed by specialists on the ground to determine if the spacecraft's heat shield is safe for re-entry.
1645 GMT (12:45 p.m. EDT)
Check out our close-up pictures of space shuttle Atlantis' beautiful blastoff. Check them out!.
1630 GMT (12:30 p.m. EDT)
The mission's spacewalkers working down on the middeck have tested the spacesuits to be worn during upcoming excursions outside the International Space Station. They'll now get the suits ready for transfer into the station after tomorrow's docking.
1615 GMT (12:15 p.m. EDT)
The Orbiter Boom Sensor System, anchored on the end of shuttle Atlantis' robot arm, has begun today's heat shield inspections. Scans on the starboard side of the shuttle will be performed first.
1600 GMT (12:00 p.m. EDT)
The crew is going to kick off the inspections of the starboard wing at the next orbital sunrise using this alternate sensor package after the original plans were sidelined by an apparent cable obstruction.
1531 GMT (11:31 a.m. EDT)
The decision has been made to switch to sensor package No. 2, which includes a digital camera that will need good lighting for image-taking. So the astronauts will be restricted from doing some of their work during the night passes of orbits.
1520 GMT (11:20 a.m. EDT)
Flight controllers continue to assess their options on how to proceed with today's inspections of Atlantis's heat shield and the timeline, given that the day's work has fallen well behind schedule because of the pan and tilt unit snag.
1447 GMT (10:47 a.m. EDT)
The crew used a 400mm lens and took pictures of the sensor boom from the cabin. They discovered a pinched cable in the mechanism that's preventing full motion by the pan and tilt unit.
1440 GMT (10:40 a.m. EDT)
CAPCOM Charlie Hobaugh in Mission Control tells commander Ken Ham says the plan forward will be either performing the scans as-is without the pan and tilt unit working properly or else going to the second sensor package. The ground suspects there's an obstruction in the "tilt up" motion.
1420 GMT (10:20 a.m. EDT)
The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. B) can be downloaded here.
1359 GMT (9:59 a.m. EDT)
Mission Control says there's about an hour of margin left in today's schedule to either resolve this issue with the pan and tilt unit or else switch the other available sensor package.
1340 GMT (9:40 a.m. EDT)
Some troubles with the pan and tilt unit on the tip of the inspection boom have slowed down the astronauts. Mission Control is discussing possibly repositioning the arm for the crew to get a better look at the sensor package, perhaps to spot an obstruction that's preventing the pan and tilt function from working properly.
1255 GMT (8:55 a.m. EDT)
Pilot Tony Antonelli previewed the inspections in a pre-flight interview:

"We'll put the arm and the boom in a starting configuration, hit 'go', and it should run through an auto sequence kind of thing to scan the leading edge of the wings. We have to do the top, the front, and the bottom so it'll be several of these in a row, and it'll take most of the day. We'll rotate different responsibilities, taking turns either flying the arm or running the checklist or keeping the extra computers and data recording going; it's kind of a three-person job. Then we'll rotate out because it's a bit of a long day."
1207 GMT (8:07 a.m. EDT)
The boom has been released from its cradle and raised out of the shuttle bay. The astronauts will work to activate the camera and laser sensor package on the boom to scan the wings and nose of the orbiter over the next several hours.
1159 GMT (7:59 a.m. EDT)
Shuttle Atlantis' robotic arm has grappled the Orbiter Boom Sensor System and the restraints holding that 50-foot-long inspection device in the payload bay just released.
1133 GMT (7:33 a.m. EDT)
After waking up, having some breakfast and going through their morning routine, the Atlantis astronauts have gotten to work. They just completed the latest engine firing as part of the two-day rendezvous sequence to catch the space station.

The NC2 burn was executed using the right-hand Orbital Maneuvering System engine, changing the shuttle's speed by 8 feet per second during the 10-second firing that raised both the apogee and perigee of the orbit by 1 mile. The shuttle's new orbit is 145 by 124 miles.

Coming up shortly will be the grappling of the inspection boom by the shuttle's robot arm.
1040 GMT (6:40 a.m. EDT)
The Atlantis astronauts, awakened to begin their first full day in space, plan to inspect the shuttle's carbon composite nose cap and wing leading edge panels Saturday and to check out equipment needed for upcoming spacewalks.

Read our full story.
0821 GMT (4:21 a.m. EDT)
Mission Control has awakened the astronauts to begin Flight Day 2, the crew's first full day in orbit.

Today will be spent inspecting Atlantis' heat shield for any signs of launch damage, a routine task for shuttle crews. Other activities include checking out the spacesuits to be worn during the mission's spacewalks and preparing equipment for tomorrow's docking to the space station.

Read our earlier status center coverage.

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Shuttle Atlantis on launch pad 39A.
Spaceflight Now photo by Justin Ray.