Space shuttle crew members have completed a maintenance job aboard Atlantis, NASA has said.
Astronauts have fixed a broken latch and accessed a compartment that contains lithium hydroxide canisters. NASA said the canisters, used to remove carbon dioxide from the shuttle’s cabin atmosphere, are not needed while Atlantis is docked to the International Space Station.
The station’s systems are removing carbon dioxide from the entire docked complex. Once Atlantis undocks from the station early Tuesday morning, however, the crew will need the canisters to scrub carbon dioxide from the shuttle’s air, the agency said in a statement.
Space Shuttle Atlantis docked safely at the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday. The space flight's chief mission was to deliver a year's worth of vital supplies to those manning the $100 billion orbital outpost.
The shuttle blasted off on July 8 from the Kennedy Space Center, watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators. The Atlantis is NASA's 30-year-old shuttle program's 135th and final flight. Aboard Atlantis were 5 tonnes of food, clothing, spare parts, science equipment and other supplies.
Once Atlantis returns to Earth after a week's stay at the space station it will be retired along with the other shuttles in NASA's fleet.