STS-81 Day 2 Highlights
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- On Monday, January 13, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 3
- Atlantis' six astronauts spent their first full day on orbit by
activating many of the experiments on board and preparing for
tomorrow's docking with Russia's Mir Space Station.
- While the orbiter continues to close in on Mir, payload work involved
activating a radiation monitor in addition to the Biorack multipurpose
facility designed to investigate the effects of microgravity and
radiation on plant, tissue, cell and fungus growth. Mission
Specialists Jeff Wisoff and John Grunsfeld spent much of their work
day setting up and performing initial experiment work in the
- Pilot Brent Jett tested laptop computers and laser range finders that
will be utilized throughout tomorrow's rendezvous and docking
activities. While Commander Mike Baker flies the final approach to
Mir, Jett and other crew members will assist by providing range and
range rate data.
- Also in preparation for the transfer activities after docking, Mission
Specialist Marsha Ivins stored about 300 pounds of water in three bags
that will be transferred into storage tanks aboard Mir. At leat 1,400
pounds of water is expected to be transferred for use by the
cosmonauts during the five days of docked operations.
- The docking is scheduled for 9:53 Tuesday night central time, followed
an hour and a half later by the hatch opening and welcome ceremony.
Soon after the hatches are opened between the two spacecraft, Mission
Specialist Jerry Linenger will exchange places on Mir with John Blaha
who is currently serving as a flight engineer on the Mir-22 crew.
Following the crew swap, Linenger becomes a member of the Mir-22 crew
and Blaha officially becomes a mission specialist aboard Atlantis.
- As of 5 a.m. today, Atlantis was at a phase angle of exactly 180
degrees to the Mir Space Station, meaning the two were an equal
distance in front of, or behind, one another, depending on the
perspective. That distance was about 8,500 statute miles.
- The astronauts will be awakened at 4:27 this afternoon to begin the
third day of the mission.
- On Monday, January 13, 1997, 6:00 p.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 4
- Atlantis and its six-member crew continue to close on Russia's Mir
space station with docking set for 9:53 p.m. CST Tuesday.
- As of 6 p.m., Atlantis was trailing Mir at a distance of 6,300 miles
and catching up at a rate of 570 miles each orbit. Commander Mike
Baker and Pilot Brent Jett will fire Atlantis' reaction control system
jets at 8:40 p.m. CST to fine-tune the Shuttle's approach to Mir. In
preparation for the docking, the crew has checked out the laptop
computers and laser range finders they will use throughout the
rendezvous and docking activities. Hatch opening and welcome
ceremonies should begin an hour and a half after docking.
- Today, Mission Specialists Jeff Wisoff, John Grunsfeld and Jerry Linenger
will spend a significant part of their day working with the
on-board treadmill, which is designed for use in the Russian Service
Module of the International Space Station. These tests will evaluate
the restraint system, motorization, running surface stability, and
effectiveness in reducing disturbances to the microgravity environment
during exercise. Three astronauts will perform 30-minute evaluations
as part of their normal daily exercise. Mission Specialist Marsha
Ivins will work with experiments in the double SPACEHAB module, in
particular those associated with the Biorack experiment facility
- The crew began its second full day on orbit to the sounds of "It
Keeps You Runnin" by the Doobie Brothers in honor of their upcoming
work with the Treadmill Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System
- Mission Specialist Jerry Linenger will exchange places on Mir with
John Blaha, joining the Mir-22 crew and working with Commander Valery
Korzun and Flight Engineer Alexander Kaleri. His four-month stay on
Mir will see the arrival of Mir 23 Commander Vasily Tsibiliev, Flight
Engineer Alexander Lazutkin and Cosmonaut Researcher Reinhold Ewald,
and the departure of Korzun, Kaleri and Ewald.
- Baker and Linenger will be interviewed by the Cable News Network at
5 a.m. Tuesday.
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