Space shuttle Discovery’s crew spent much of Tuesday scanning the spacecraft for launch damage and preparing for docking with the International Space Station.
Scanning of the shuttle is a normal post-launch procedure, but the data are not being relayed to Earth for analysis as is the usual practice. A malfunctioning Ku-band antenna is forcing the crew to record the scan on videotape to be transmitted to Earth after docking, using the space station’s high-speed data antenna. Scientists on Earth will then study the extent of liftoff damage.
Discovery’s seven-member crew will dock with the ISS Wednesday about 3:44 a.m. EDT.
Tuesday’s scheduled activities also included preparing spacesuits the astronauts will wear during the mission’s three planned spacewalks, as well as checking the tools that will be used during the shuttle’s approach to the space station.
The shuttle crew was to go to sleep at 12:21 p.m. EDT Tuesday and awaken at 8:21 p.m. to begin Flight Day 3 — docking day.