STS-88 Day 8 Highlights
Back to STS-88 Flight Day 07 Highlights:
- On Thursday, December 10, 1998, 12:00 p.m. CST, STS-88 MCC Status Report # 16
- Endeavour's six astronauts awoke at 10:41 a.m. CST today and are
preparing for a historic day - entry into the International Space
Station for the first time. The crew was awakened to Lee Greenwood's
"God Bless the USA," played for Mission Specialist-2, Nancy Currie at
the request of her husband, David.
- After opening the hatch between Unity and the Pressurized Mating
Adapter that connects it to Endeavour, the astronauts will climb
aboard Unity about 1:15 p.m. CST. Once inside, Commander Bob Cabana
and Mission Specialists Jerry Ross and Jim Newman will install
portable fans and lights. They also will complete installation of the
S-band communication system in the U.S. component. Pilot Rick Sturckow
will remove some access panels inside Unity and unstow hardware that
will be used by visiting astronauts on future assembly missions.
- Less than 90 minutes after entering Unity, the astronauts will
float into the Zarya module, where Mission Specialist Sergei Krikalev
and Currie will install a new battery charging unit. One of Zarya's
six batteries has experienced a problem discharging stored energy in
its automatic configuration. Krikalev has swapped out an identical
component during two previous flights on the Russian space station
Mir. Sturckow and Currie also will remove launch restraint bolts from
some of the panels inside Zarya. These bolts were installed before
launch to ensure that none of the panels popped open during
launch. Astronauts will remove some of these bolts today as a
"get-ahead" task to expedite access to the panels during future space
station assembly missions. Cabana, Ross and Newman will check out the
early communications system's videoconferencing capability.
- Ross, Newman and Krikalev then will begin transferring equipment
and supplies from Endeavour for use by future inhabitants of the space
station, including the first crew to begin a permanent human presence
on the space station in January 2000.
- During the entry into the International Space Station today, the
crew will open a total of six hatches in the following order: the
hatch on Endeavour's docking system; the hatch to Unity's mating
adapter (designated PMA-2); the hatch to Unity; the hatch from Unity
to the upper mating adapter (designated PMA-1); the hatch to Zarya's
spherical pressurized adapter (PA); and finally, a hatch between the
spherical pressurized adapter on Zarya and the main Zarya instrument
module, Zarya's main compartment.
- Prior to beginning the sequence of hatch openings, the crew will
bring the air pressure inside Endeavour to 14.7 pounds per square
inch, the same pressure as at sea level on Earth. Then, the crew will
go through a procedure to equalize the air pressure on both sides of
each hatch prior to opening them.
- About 8:45 p.m. Central time this evening, the entire crew will
gather inside the station for an interview with KNX Radio in Los
Angeles and KARE-TV in Minneapolis, MN, Cabana's home town.
- Endeavour and the International Space Station remain in excellent
- On Friday, December 11, 1998, 2:00 a.m. CST, STS-88 MCC Status Report # 17
- Endeavour's astronauts opened the new International Space Station
for business Thursday, entering the Unity and Zarya modules for the
first time and establishing an S-band communications system that will
enable U.S. flight controllers to monitor the outpost's systems.
- Reflecting the international cooperation involved in building the
largest space complex in history, Commander Bob Cabana and Russian
Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev opened the hatch to the U.S.-built Unity
connecting module at 1:54 p.m. Central time Thursday and floated into
the new station together.
- The rest of the crew followed and began turning on lights and
unstowing gear in the roomy hub to which other modules will be
connected in the future. Each passageway within Unity was marked by a
sign leading the way into tunnels to which new modules will be
- About an hour later, at 3:12 p.m., Cabana and Krikalev opened the
hatch to the Russian-built Zarya control module, which will be the
nerve center for the station in its embryonic stage. Joined by Pilot
Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialists Jerry Ross, Jim Newman and Nancy
Currie, Cabana and Krikalev hailed the historic entrance into the
International Space Station and said the hatch opening signified the
start of a new era in space exploration.
- Ross and Newman went right to work in Unity, completing the
assembly of an early S-band communications system that will allow
flight controllers in Houston to send commands to Unity's systems and
to keep tabs on the health of the station with a more extensive
communications capability than exists through Russian ground
stations. The astronauts also conducted a successful test of the
videoconferencing capability of the early communications system, which
will be used by the first crew to permanently occupy the station in
January 2000. Newman downlinked greetings to controllers in the
station flight control room in Houston and to astronaut Bill Shepherd,
who will command the first crew and live aboard the station with
Krikalev and Cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko.
- Krikalev and Currie replaced a faulty unit in Zarya which
controlled the discharging of stored energy from one of the module's
six batteries. The battery had not been working properly in its
automatic configuration, but the new unit was functioning normally
shortly after it was installed.
- The astronauts also unstowed hardware and logistical supplies
stored behind panels in Zarya, relocating the items for use by the
shuttle crew that will visit the station in May and Shepherd's
expedition crew. Late this afternoon, the astronauts will complete
their initial outfitting of the station.
- The hatches to Zarya and Unity will be closed before Endeavour
undocks from the new station Sunday, leaving the new complex to orbit
the Earth unpiloted. The astronauts begin an eight-hour sleep period
at 2:36 a.m. Central time this morning and will be awakened at 10:36
a.m. to begin their ninth of day in orbit.
- Endeavour and the International Space Station are circling the
globe every 90 minutes at an altitude of 247 statute miles with all
systems operating in excellent shape.
Go to STS-88 Flight Day 9 Highlights: