STS-86 Day 6 Highlights
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- On Tuesday, September 30, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CDT, STS-86 MCC Status Report # 10
- Preparations for a spacewalk and continuing transfer work will be
the focus of activity on board Atlantis/Mir today.
- As their crew mates move logistical supplies, water, experiment
hardware and other equipment between Atlantis and Mir, Astronauts
Scott Parazynski and Vladimir Titov will ready themselves for
Wednesday's planned spacewalk. Parazynski and Titov will unstow their
spacesuits and check out some of the tools, tethers and other
equipment they will be using during the spacewalk.
- During the five-hour excursion, they will retrieve four
suitcase-sized experiments called the Mir Environmental Effects
Payload (MEEP) that have been gathering data on the environment
surrounding the space station since being installed in March 1996 by
Astronauts Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford. They also will tether a
solar array cap to the docking module for use during a future Mir EVA.
The cap is designed to seal off the base of the damaged solar array on
the Spektr module if and when cosmonauts jettison that array.
- Transfer items today will include additional containers of water, an
old Elektron oxygen-generating unit, and an experiment which studies
circadian rhythms. The Beetle experiment was designed to study how a
simple organism, such as the black-bodied beetle, responds to changes
in the time cues, such as light or dark, that influence the internal
body clock. In humans, these changes in circadian rhythms are often
manifested as jet lag or lethargy and are often observed in shift
- The astronauts and cosmonauts also will take time today to discuss
their mission in interviews scheduled with CNN, PBS and Russian media.
- Plans are still being refined to allow the cosmonauts to install a
new computer in Mir on Wednesday prior to the start of Titov and
Parazynski's spacewalk. It could take most of the day for software to
be reloaded in the new computer, but no Mir systems performance should
be affected since Atlantis will be maintaining attitude for the joint
- The Atlantis-Mir space complex is orbiting the Earth at an altitude
of about 215 nautical miles with both spacecraft's systems operating
in excellent shape.
- On Tuesday, September 30, 1997, 8:00 p.m. CDT, STS-86 MCC Status Report # 11
- Transfer and hand-over activities continued today onboard the docked
Atlantis-Mir complex, with more than three-quarters of all items to be
brought across having been transferred. Among the items moved so far
are the old Elektron oxygen-generating unit and the Beetle experiment
from Mir to Atlantis, biomedical experiment equipment and samples from
Atlantis to Mir and two more bags of water, totaling almost 1200
pounds of water already transferred out of 1400 lbs. planned.
- Astronaut Michael Foale spent about five hours briefing his
replacement, astronaut David Wolf, acquainting Wolf with his new
orbital home. Wolf's science experiments were moved to the Priroda
module for his use over the next four months.
- Also during the day Tuesday, mission specialists Vladimir Titov and
Scott Parazynski completed the checkout and preparation of all the
tools they will use tomorrow during a planned five-hour spacewalk that
will begin at 1:44 p.m. CDT. The primary task during the spacewalk
will be the removal of four Mir Environmental Effects Packages which
had been placed along the outside of the docking module last March by
astronauts Linda Godwin and Rich Clifford. Parazynski and Titov also
will carry out the Spektr Solar Array Cap which cosmonauts may use in
a future spacewalk to bolt over any hole found in the hull of the
damaged Spektr module. The cap will be attached to the outside of the
docking module within reach of spacewalking cosmonauts.
- Plans are nearing completion for the swap-out of the Mir's motion
control computer tomorrow for a new one brought into orbit by
Atlantis. The current schedule calls for the old computer to be
removed at about 1030 am CDT and replaced by the new computer. The
swap-out should take about 90 minutes, after which new software will
be loaded into the computer by Russian flight controllers. That
process will take several more hours. Mir's automatic attitude control
devices, the gyrodynes, will be spun down early Wednesday afternoon to
accommodate the change, and will not be spun up again until early
Thursday morning to provide the Mir its own attitude control
capability once again. In the meantime, Atlantis holds attitude
control for the Mir, aligning its solar panels with the sun at all
times to provide electrical production.
- Earlier today, members of both crews were interviewed by CNN, PBS
and Russian reporters at the Russian Mission Control Center, and
provided a commemorative message from the Mir this morning for the
40th anniversary of the launching of the first satellite, Sputnik, by
Russia on October 4th, 1957. The anniversary will be celebrated on
- Mir's crew is scheduled to begin its nine-hour sleep period tonight
at 8:30 p.m. CDT. Atlantis astronauts will go to bed about 10:30 and
wake at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. EVA preparations Wednesday begin at 8:34
a.m. with the closing of hatches between Atlantis and Mir.
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