STS-129 Manned Spaceflight, Shuttle Update
November 25, 2009 11:27:54
Discovery Undocks - Waste Water Dump Flow Reduction Not Expected to be Issue
By Source: NASA

Houston - Space shuttle Atlantis and its seven-astronaut crew undocked from the International Space Station at 4:53 a.m. EST. Pilot Barry Wilmore piloted Atlantis during its flyaround of the station.

Tuesday at 10 a.m., European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne handed over command of the station to NASA astronaut Jeff Williams. De Winne and Expedition 21 Flight Engineers Roman Romanenko and Robert Thirsk are scheduled to leave the station for return to Earth in a Soyuz capsule on Nov. 30.

On Sunday, Bresnik told the flight controllers his new daughter, Abigail Mae Bresnik, had been born in Houston at 11:04 p.m. CST Saturday. He said his wife Rebecca and new daughter, 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long, were doing well. Bresnik got the news by private phone patch through mission control shortly after the crew was awakened.

During a purge of the space shuttle waste water tank Wednesday morning, Mission Control noticed a reduction in the flow from the nozzle that vents the waste water into space. This has occurred on past shuttle missions and is not expected to be an issue. Capsule Communicator Stan Love told Atlantis Commander Charles Hobaugh it is likely no further waste dumps will be necessary before Friday’s planned landing.

As a precaution, to determine if there is ice on the outside of the nozzle, a robotic arm camera may be used to view the nozzle during a planned pause in the “late inspection” survey. There are heaters at the waste water dump nozzle to prevent water from freezing and flight controllers believe ice formation is unlikely, due to the nozzle temperatures they are measuring.

The waste water system stores waste from the crew cabin humidity separator and from the crew. The tank is located below the crew compartment middeck floor, and the dump nozzle is on the left side of the shuttle.

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