Japanese engineers at the Sagamihara Control Center south of Tokyo
turned off the satellite's major thruster system overnight as planned,
one of the final major events prior to the SFU retrieval Saturday.
At 1:38 AM this morning, Duffy and Jett conducted a brief firing of
the orbiter's reaction control system jets to alter Endeavour's
orbit slightly and to avoid a close encounter with an orbiting Air
Force satellite nicknamed MISTY (MSTI). The satellite was launched in
May 1994 from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Scout
rocket, but is no longer active. Without the maneuver, Endeavour would
have passed within 8/10 of a mile of the satellite. With the maneuver,
Endeavour remained more than 5 miles away from MSTI.
Near the end of their workday, Chiao, Barry and Scott tested the the
three spacesuits they will wear during their two spacewalks, making
sure that the various systems in the suits were working
properly. Chiao and Barry will conduct the first spacewalk starting
Sunday night. Chiao will be joined by Scott Tuesday for the second
excursion into Endeavour's cargo bay. Both spacewalks are designed to
test tools and techniques for the assembly of the international Space
The crew will begin an eight-hour sleep period at 10:41 AM Central
time and will be awakened early this evening for the start of the
final phase of the rendezvous to capture the Space Flyer Unit.
Endeavour is orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 287
statute miles with all of its systems in excellent shape.
On Friday, January 12, 1996, 5 p.m. CST, STS-72 MCC Status Report # 04
A day of preparation for events to come concluded aboard Endeavour
this morning, and Endeavour is now on course for the planned retrieval
early Saturday of the Japanese Space Flyer Unit satellite.
Following an orbit-raising burn early this morning, Endeavour is now
less than 300 statute miles from the SFU and closing in on the
satellite at a little over 60 statute miles per orbit. The crew began
an eight-hour sleep period at 10:41 a.m. CST and will awaken for Day 3
of the mission at 6:41 p.m. CST today.
During their second day in space, Pilot Brent Jett and Mission
Specialist Koichi Wakata performed a survey of Endeavour's cargo bay
using the shuttle's robot arm, finding everything in excellent
shape. Also, astronauts Leroy Chiao, Winston Scott and Dan Barry
checked out the spacesuits and spacewalking gear they will use later
in the flight to perform two spacewalks. All three suits were found to
be in good condition. Chiao and Barry are planned to conduct the first
spacewalk starting on Sunday night. Chiao will be joined by Scott on
Tuesday for the second excursion into Endeavour's cargo bay. Both
spacewalks will test tools and techniques for the assembly of the
international Space Station.
For Day 3, the primary objective will be the capture and berthing of
the SFU. Rendezvous operations will begin in earnest at about 12:44
a.m. CST Saturday as Endeavour, then eight nautical miles from the
SFU, starts the Terminal Initiation burn to close the final distance
to the satellite. As Endeavour approaches the final half-mile,
Commander Brian Duffy will begin manually flying the shuttle. Wakata
is planned to capture the SFU using the robot arm at about 3:24
a.m. CST Saturday.
The SFU was launched on March 18, 1995 atop a Japanese H-2 rocket
from the Tanageshima Space Center in Japan for 10 months of materials
science studies and biological experiments.
Go to STS-72 Flight Day 3 Highlights: