STS-88 Day 1 Highlights
Return to STS-88 Mission Summary
- On Thursday, December 3, 1998, 4:00 a.m. CST, STS-88 MCC Status Report # 1
- The first International Space Station assembly mission was postponed
for 24 hours when time ran out on today's launch window -- just as
flight controllers had cleared the Space Shuttle Endeavour for
- With the countdown clock at T-minus 4 minutes, STS-88 Commander Bob
Cabana reported that a master alarm had sounded inside Endeavour's
crew cabin, forcing the countdown to be placed on hold. Flight
controllers in Houston and launch controllers in Florida worked
feverishly and identified the cause of the alarm as a momentary low
pressure indication in one of the shuttle's three hydraulic systems,
but reported that all shuttle systems were working properly in spite
of the alarm. Flight Director John Shannon gave a "go" for launch, but
the launch team was unable to resume the countdown in time to make a
rendezvous with the Zarya module, already on orbit.
- Launch support teams safed all of Endeavour's systems and began
preparing to recycle the shuttle for another launch attempt on Dec. 4.
The tentative launch time is 2:36 a.m. CST.
- Commander Cabana, Pilot Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialists Nancy
Currie, Jerry Ross, Jim Newman and Russian Sergei Krikalev began
closing out the crew cabin and preparing to exit the shuttle in a
safe, orderly fashion.
- A briefing to discuss the events of the day will begin at 5 a.m. CST
at Kennedy Space Center.
- On Friday, December 4, 1998, 3:30 a.m. CST, STS-88 MCC Status Report # 2
- Five Americans and one Russian set off to begin building the
International Space Station at 2:36 a.m. CST today, launching from
Kennedy Space Center with the first American-built component of the
station -- a connecting module named Unity -- in the Space Shuttle
Endeavour's cargo bay. The shuttle's climb to orbit was flawless.
- The STS-88 launch begins the largest cooperative space construction
project in history. Endeavour is scheduled to rendezvous with the
U.S.-funded and Russian-built Zarya control module on Dec. 6. Zarya,
which in Russian means sunrise, lifted off from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakstan, on Nov. 20.
- After reaching orbit, Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Rick Sturckow and
Mission Specialists Nancy Currie, Jerry Ross, Jim Newman and Sergei
Krikalev began preparing for the first of several engine firings that
will bring Endeavour within robot arm's reach of Zarya. Along the way,
the crew will use the same 50-foot-long arm Dec. 5 to remove the Unity
module from the payload bay and connect it to the shuttle's docking
hatch. Crew members will use the robot arm to grapple Zarya about 5:48
p.m. CST Dec. 6 and dock it to one of Unity's two Pressurized Mating
- Newman and Ross are scheduled to conduct the first of the mission's
three space walks Dec. 7. The space walks will connect electrical and
communications lines between Unity and Zarya, and prepare Unity's
systems for activation.
- At launch, Zarya was making its 222nd orbit of the Earth about 240
statute miles above the Kennedy Space Center. Russian flight
controllers in Mission Control Korolev reported that all systems
aboard Zarya, which will provide the initial control and command
capabilities for the space station, were functioning well with the
minor exception of one of six battery charging systems. Endeavour is
carrying replacement parts for the system in the event they are
- After Endeavour undocks from the International Space Station on
Dec. 13, the crew will deploy two small technology demonstration
satellites called MightySat and the Argentine Satelite de
- The astronauts are scheduled to begin their sleep period at 7:36
a.m. CST, and will awaken at 3:36 p.m. for their first full day in
- On Friday, December 4, 1998, 9:30 a.m. CST, STS-88 MCC Status Report # 3
- Endeavour's six astronauts wrapped up their first day in space a
bit later than planned, at approximately 8:21 a.m. Central time today,
when they began an abbreviated sleep period. Crew members were
trouble-shooting a minor problem with the Orbiter Communications
Adapter (OCA) system, which is used to transmit software files between
the Space Shuttle and the flight controllers on the ground. A wake-up
call from Mission Control is planned for 3:36 p.m. Central time, for
the crew to begin their first full day of on-orbit activities.
- Following a smooth launch earlier today, Commander Bob Cabana,
Pilot Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialists Nancy Currie, Jerry Ross,
Jim Newman and Sergei Krikalev began preparing the orbiter for 12 days
of operations to begin construction of the International Space
Station. Endeavour is carrying the first American-built component of
the station -- a connecting module named Unity -- in its cargo bay.
- Just half an hour after lift-off, the shuttle's payload bay doors
were opened. A few minutes later, the crew was given the go-ahead to
begin orbit operations - preparing the vehicle for space flight
activities. The Shuttle's KU-band antenna, which provides high
data-rate and television transmissions, was successfully deployed.
Crewmembers also activated the Hitchhiker payload, which includes the
Mightysat and SAC-A satellites that will be deployed late in the
- The first of six engine firings to refining Endeavour's orbit and
close the distance from the Zarya control module, launched from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 20, also was completed early
this morning. Final rendezvous maneuvers to bring Zarya (the Russian
word for "sunrise") in close proximity with Endeavour is planned to
take place on Sunday afternoon. Endeavour currently trails Zarya by
approximatley 1,300 miles and is closing on Zarya at a rate of 675
miles per orbit.
- All systems aboard Zarya, which will provide the initial control
and command capabilities for the space station, continue to function
well with the minor exception of one of six battery charging
systems. Endeavour is carrying replacement parts for the system in the
event they are needed.
- After they wake up to begin Flight Day 2, Endeavour's crew will
conduct a check out of the shuttle's robot arm that will be used to
remove the Unity module from the payload bay and connect one of
Unity's Preassurized Mating Adapters (PMA) to the orbiter's docking
mechanism. The robot arm will also be used to grapple Zarya and dock
it to the PMA located at the other end of the Unity connection module.
- Other Flight Day 2 activities will include a check-out of the
spacesuits that will be used in three spacewalks planned for the
mission, as well as checks of the SAFER unit. SAFER or Simplified Aid
for EVA Resuce, is a mini-maneuvering unit that can provide
self-rescue capability for a spacesuited crew member who inadvertently
separates from a spacecraft during a spacewalk.
- All systems aboard Endeavour continue to perform well with the
Shuttle currently flying in a 200 by 118 mile orbit, circling the
Earth every 90 minutes.
Go to STS-88 Flight Day 2 Highlights: