STS-102 Day 12 Highlights
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- On Monday, March 19, 2001, 7:00 a.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 23
- The Space Shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space
Station at 10:32 p.m. CST Sunday, leaving the second station crew to
get settled in and begin in earnest the research planned aboard the
- The hatches between the shuttle and station were closed for a final
time at 8:32 p.m., about an hour after departing Expedition One
Commander Bill Shepherd passed responsibility for the station to
Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev. As the hatches closed, Usachev,
and flight engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms marked the start of
their four-month stay on orbit. The previous Expedition crew –
Shepherd and Cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev – are now
headed home on board Discovery.
- After the undocking -- which occurred as the two vehicles flew over
Guyana, South America, and its capital of Georgetown -- Pilot Jim
Kelly flew Discovery one-and-a-quarter turns around the space station
before initiating a final steering jet separation burn at 11:48
p.m. CST. During the flyaround at a distance of 450 feet the crew
recorded television and still images of the station’s exterior.
- The two vehicles were docked for a total of 8 days, 21 hours, 54
minutes, which brings the total time shuttles have been docked to the
station to 55 days, 23 hours, 7 minutes. The hatches were open for a
total of 142 hours, 22 minutes during three periods punctuated by
space walk-necessitated closures.
- Over the course of joint operations between the station and shuttle
crews, Discovery Commander Jim Wetherbee, Kelly and Mission
Specialists Andy Thomas and Paul Richards worked with the station crew
unloading almost five tons of experiments and equipment from the
Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, and packing almost one
ton of items for return to Earth. Discovery’s space walkers –
Voss and Helms, and Thomas and Richards -- also set the stage for
continued expansion of the station by installing a platform that will
be used to mount a Canadian-built robotic arm to the station next
- After undocking, Discovery’s crew spent the rest of the day
exercising, talking with their families and enjoying some scheduled
off-duty time. The shuttle crew will go to sleep at 8:12 a.m. and
awaken at 4:12 p.m., while the station crew will begin its sleep shift
at 3:30 p.m., awakening at midnight.
- The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued early
- Monday evening.
- On Monday, March 19, 2001, 7:00 a.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 24
- Moving ever further from the International Space Station,
Discovery's crew is now focused on a return home with a landing at the
Kennedy Space Center, Florida, late Tuesday.
- The crew was awakened to the song "Just What I Needed," performed by
The Cars and played for returning International Space Station
Commander Bill Shepherd, who, along with crew mates Yuri Gidzenko and
Sergei Krikalev, is riding home aboard Discovery after four and a half
months in orbit. Discovery's crew today will check out the flight
controls the shuttle will require for the trip home, test fire the
shuttle's steering jets, and perform an engine firing to adjust the
shuttle's orbit to optimize landing opportunities. The crew also will
spend much of the day packing up for Tuesday's entry and landing.
- Shepherd, Gidzenko and Krikalev will take a break from packing at
11:12 p.m. Central to field questions from CNN, CBS News and KNBC-TV,
Los Angeles, during a 20-minute interview. Later, at about 3:37
a.m. Central Tuesday, the crew will turn off and stow the shuttle's
Ku-band antenna, used for television transmissions to the ground, for
the remainder of the mission.
- All preparations are focused on a landing for Discovery with a
touchdown at 11:56 p.m. Central at the Kennedy Space Center.in
Florida. The weather forecast for landing in Florida currently calls
for showers and low clouds that could be unacceptable. Options also
exist for a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California early
Wednesday, if flight controllers decide to pursue those.
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