Archive - Mar 20, 2008 - Story
The crews of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station got some off-duty time at the beginning of their 10th day in orbit. They also spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and participated in interviews with U.S. media.
The astronauts spent the remainder of their day configuring tools for the fourth STS-123 spacewalk and reviewing spacewalk procedures.
They also prepared for the primary task of that spacewalk, which is the test of a heat shield repair method. This technique uses a caulk-gun-like tool named the Tile Repair Ablator Dispenser to dispense a material called Shuttle Tile Ablator-54 into purposely damaged heat shield tiles. Once the test is complete, the sample tiles will be returned to Earth to undergo extensive testing on the ground.