STS-87 Day 13 Highlights
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- On Monday, December 1, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 24
- Following yesterday's decision by mission managers to forego a
second deployment of the Spartan solar science satellite, the crew and
flight control teams focused their attention on the final three days
of the science portion of Columbia's STS-87 mission.
- Continued work in the mini laboratory called the microgravity
glovebox facility allowed crew members to interactively work with two
different experiments today studying the formation of composite
materials in an attempt to accurately map the roles of gravity-induced
convection and sedimentation on the samples. Late in the work day, the
study of the effects of different air flow velocities on the stability
of an enclosed flame continued. These jet diffusion flames are
similar to the kind used in industrial combustion processes and jet
- About three days of experiment work remains before the routine day
before landing activities will require the attention of the crew
members and the flight controllers. The United States Microgravity
Laboratory experiments in the payload bay continue to operate
normally, save the Advanced Automated Directional Solidification
Furnace which was shut down for the remainder of the flight due to
abnormal temperature readings in one of the samples being processed.
- Yesterday's decision to pass up a re-deployment of the Spartan
satellite was made to ensure a complete mission of the USMP
experiments and to protect the shuttle's propellant margins.
- Status checks continued today on the Collaborative Ukrainian
Experiment investigating plant growth in space. Leonid Kadenyuk
discussed the experiment with students from his home country in an
early morning interactive event. He plans to conduct a similar
educational event with U.S. students mid morning.
- The six crew members are scheduled to go to sleep just before noon
today and wake up at about 7:45 tonight.
- On Monday, December 1, 1997, 7:00 p.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 25
- STS-87 mission managers Monday afternoon decided to add a second
spacewalk to this mission, giving astronauts and EVA designers more
confidence in techniques which will be important to assembly of the
International Space Station.
- Astronauts Winston Scott and Takao Doi will exit Columbia's airlock
at approximately 2:15 a.m. CST Wednesday for a five-hour spacewalk
which will repeat part of the crane operations, handling the smaller
of the boxes which represent objects it will have to move during Space
- Greg Harbaugh, acting manager of the EVA Projects Office at Johnson
Space Center, explained in a press conference Monday that planners
want to get as much confidence as possible that the movement of ORUs
(Orbit Replaceable Units) can be done successfully. He noted that
handling of the boxes during the first spacewalk did not give EVA
designers all the information they needed. The original spacewalk
timeline was modified last week to accommodate the retrieval of the
- Another component of the second EVA will be checkout of the AERCAM
SPRINT flying video camera which will be used during Space Station
assembly and operations as a second point of view to observe work
outside the station.
- With the juggling of the crew timeline to add the second EVA, other
mission activities have been rescheduled. After the astronauts awaken
tonight at about 7:45 p.m. CST, their flight day 13 will include three
hours of PEP operations (Particle Engulfment and Pushing), the
MEPHISTO furnace experiment and SOLSE (Shuttle Ozone Limb Sounding
Experiment) observations. The in-flight crew press conference has
been moved earlier, now scheduled to begin at 4:36 a.m. CST. Media at
Johnson Space Center in Houston, Kennedy Space Center.in Florida and
in Kiev, the Ukraine, will participate.
- Just before 9 a.m. CST Tuesday, Columbia's crew will reduce the
cabin atmospheric pressure to 10.2 psi, giving Scott and Doi 16 hours
of advance pre-breathe time which reduces their in-suit pre-breathe to
just one hour.
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