Astronauts Answer Media Questions, Enjoy Off-Duty Time

Today is an off-duty day for all 13 aboard the International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour. Before taking time off, Endeavour Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Chris Cassidy, Julie Payette, Tom Marshburn and Dave Wolf answered media questions from WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Ind., CBS News and WREG-TV in Memphis, Tenn.

Astronauts Enjoy Day Off

The combined crew of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station will enjoy a day off to rest up after a challenging first half of the STS-127 assembly mission.

Mission specialists Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn finished replacing batteries on the International Space Station’s oldest solar arrays during a seven-hour, 12-minute spacewalk Friday – the fourth of five planned during space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-127 mission.

The spacewalkers completed the final four battery swaps for the Port 6 Truss structure, and those batteries are now being charged. Later in the day, the new batteries are expected to be integrated into the station’s power grid.