STS-76 Day 2 Highlights
Back to STS-76 Flight Day 01 Highlights:
- On Saturday, March 23, 1996, 5 a.m. CST, STS-76 MCC Status Report # 3
- STS-76 Commander Kevin Chilton and Pilot Rick Searfoss fired
Atlantis' orbital maneuvering system jets just before 3:30 a.m. today,
refining its path for this evening's rendezvous with the Mir Space
- This morning's burn slowed the rate at which Atlantis is closing on
Mir, and raised the high point of its orbit to 210 nautical miles in
anticipation of the terminal initiation burn that will position
Atlantis to intercept the space station. Currently Atlantis trails Mir
at a distance of about 3,000 nautical miles, closing the distance by
about 400 nautical miles every 90 minutes.
- Throughout the night and into the early morning hours, the six
astronauts prepared for their docking with Mir, checking out the radio
communications equipment they will use during their approach. Mission
Specialists Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford also checked out the space
suits they will wear during Wednesday's planned six-hour EVA. The
suits and hardware have been temporarily stowed in Atlantis' airlock.
- Chilton, Searfoss and Mission Specialist Shannon Lucid also spent
time this morning discussing the progress of their mission and Lucid's
planned stay on the Mir Space Station with NBC's Nightside
program. Lucid told Nightside host Tom Miller that she believed her
four-month stay on Mir "will be a great adventure."
- The astronauts will begin a 7-hour sleep period at 7:13 a.m. central
time today before waking to begin final rendezvous and docking
activities. About one hour after waking up, Chilton and Searfoss will
fire Atlantis' maneuvering system engines in the final phasing burn
designed to further slow Atlantis' closing rate to 34 nautical miles
per orbit. One orbit later, Atlantis will be eight miles away from
Mir, in position for the terminal initiation burn that allows Atlantis
to intercept the Russian space station.
- Chilton will initiate the TI burn at 5:52 p.m. central time, moving
Atlantis along a precise course to meet up with Mir. Atlantis will
stationkeep at a distance of 170 feet from Mir while flight
controllers in Houston and Moscow confer before giving a final "go"
for docking operations. Docking is targeted for 8:34 p.m. today.
- All systems are continuing to perform well as Atlantis makes its 16th
journey into space.
Go to STS-76 Flight Day 3 Highlights: