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Paul McCartney joins Atlantis love-in

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Sir Paul McCartney joined the impressive roster of celebs greeting the crew of space shuttle Atlantis today, following Elton John and Michael Stipe's musical messages to space earlier this week.

Following a blast of Good Day Sunshine, McCartney chirped: "Good morning guys! Wake up! And good luck on this, your last mission. Well done!"

Suitably roused, the International Space Station's residents will now get back to even more box-shifting from the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module.

Commander Chris Ferguson, though, will first have to tackle a failed computer aboard Atlantis. The crew was woken last night by an alarm triggered by a problem with general purpose computer 4 (GPC 4).

Atlantis has five such computers, and the failure doesn't present much of a problem. NASA explains: "Only two of the shuttle's computers are needed when the shuttle is orbiting the Earth, so the functions that computer had been responsible for were simply transferred to another computer."

The agency adds: "While troubleshooting is underway on GPC 4, GPCs 1 & 2 are operating Atlantis' systems and GPC 3 is in a standby mode. The first step in today’s procedure is underway, transmitting the memory of GPC 4 to Mission Control for evaluation."

Once they've done another hard day's work heaving boxes from Raffaello, the Atlantis and International Space Station Expedition 28 crews will have a chat with president Obama before turning in.

Here's NASA's video round-up of yesterday's action aboard the ISS, including an insight into the patriotic "All American Menu":

You can find the latest on Atlantis' last mission right here. ®

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