STS-96 Day 9 Highlights
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- On Friday, June 4, 1999, 7:00 a.m. CDT, STS-96 MCC Status Report # 18
- After leaving the International Space Station behind, Discovery's
astronauts were rewarded with several hours of scheduled off-duty time
in recognition of their ambitious pace of activities over the past
- Discovery undocked from ISS at 5:39 p.m. central time yesterday,
having delivered more than two tons of water, supplies and equipment
to the space station.
- As Discovery departed from the station, Mission Specialists Tammy
Jernigan and Dan Barry packed away the space suit gear they used
during their spacewalk early in the mission, while Commander Kent
Rominger and Pilot Rick Husband practiced landings on a laptop
computer program. Mission Specialists Julie Payette and Valery Tokarev
helped to stow gear and repressurized the shuttle's cabin to its
standard 14.7 pounds per square inch.
- Once they are awakened at 3:50 this afternoon, the astronauts will
focus on preparing for a Sunday landing at the Kennedy Space Center.
Rominger, Husband and Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa will conduct a
test to verify the performance of Discovery's steering jets. They
also will activate one of three hydraulic power units to move the
various aerosurfaces that will be used to control Discovery during its
reentry and landing.
- The crew also will prepare to deploy a small, student-built payload
called STARSHINE. The Student Tracked Atmospheric Research Satellite
for Heuristic International Networking Equipment satellite will be
ejected from a canister in Discovery's payload bay at 2:10
a.m. Saturday by Payette. STARSHINE is a 19-inch hollow sphere covered
by about 800 aluminum mirrors polished to a high shine by students
around the world. International student observers will visually track
the reflective spacecraft during the early morning and twilight hours
for several months, measuring the atmosphere's density based on the
rate at which STARSHINE's orbit decays.
- Discovery has two Sunday landing opportunities on Kennedy Space
Center's Runway 15. The first would begin with a deorbit burn at 11:54
p.m. CDT Saturday, and end with a landing at 1:03 a.m. Sunday. The
second calls for a deorbit burn at 1:30 a.m. CDT Sunday, with landing
at 2:38 a.m. The weather forecast calls for generally acceptable
- On Friday, June 4, 1999, 7:00 p.m. CDT, STS-96 MCC Status Report # 19
- Discovery's crew was awakened this afternoon to begin readying its
spaceship for the return trip home early Sunday morning. But before
that, the crew has one last mission objective to complete: The deploy
of a small educational satellite at 2:21 a.m. Saturday.
- After the wakeup call from Mission Control, the song "Good
Morning Starshine," in recognition of the early morning deploy of
the spherical-shaped, mirror-covered STARSHINE satellite. Students on
Earth will use changes in the orbit of the highly reflective satellite
to calculate the density of the earth's atmosphere throughout the
projected 8 months that the 19-inch diameter satellite will remain in
orbit. More than 25,000 students from 18 countries are participating
in the project.
- Before the crew deploys STARSHINE from a small canister in the
payload bay, however, the crew will ready Discovery for the return
home by testing the aero surfaces on the wings and tail, as well as
the small steering jets to ensure their health to support reentry and
landing activities Saturday night into Sunday morning. These
checkouts are routinely done the day before the shuttle is scheduled
to return home.
- There currently are two landing opportunities at the Kennedy Space
Center Sunday. For the first, Commander Kent Rominger would fire
Discovery's braking rockets Saturday evening at 11:54 p.m. CDT and
land at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 1:02 a.m. Sunday. The second
landing opportunity is about an hour and a half later 2:38 a.m. This
will be the 11th night landing for the shuttle program (five
previously at Edwards AFB, Calif., and five at KSC). Weather
forecasters predict favorable conditions for landing with a chance of
developing rain showers. Based on that, landing support will only be
called in for support in Florida.
- In and around landing preparations and the STARSHINE deploy, the
crew will stow all equipment used throughout the mission.
- The next STS-96 mission status report will be issued at about 6
a.m. Saturday or as developments warrant.
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