STS-102 Day 3 Highlights
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- On Saturday, March 10, 2001, 4:00 a.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 5
- Commander Jim Wetherbee waited patiently as International Space
Station controllers locked solar arrays in place before he steered the
Space Shuttle Discovery to a 12:38 a.m. CST Saturday docking.
- “You have a great looking ship there, Captain Shepherd,”
- Wetherbee radioed to the station.
- The linkup, which occurred as the two spacecraft were flying above
the southern Pacific Ocean, just east of New Zealand, was delayed by
about an hour when one of the station’s P-6 solar arrays failed to
register as being properly feathered to avoid damage from the shuttle
steering jet plumes. Wetherbee hovered 400 feet away from the
Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 port as he awaited the array latch
verification and proper lighting conditions for his final approach.
- Station flight controllers and crew members also teamed up to
overcome a shuttle communications problem that occurred just after
docking. Downlinked signals could not be relayed from the White Sands
Ground Station in New Mexico to Houston for about 34 minutes, but
messages were passed on to the shuttle crew via the space station
control room and a radio link between the station and shuttle.
- After hooks and latches created a secure bond, the hatches between
the two spacecraft were opened at 2:51 a.m. CST, beginning eight days
of docked operations. The eighth shuttle mission to the station will
feature the first crew exchange aboard the multinational orbiting
outpost and the delivery of the first research experiment package for
the Destiny laboratory module.
- Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev was the first to join
Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight
Engineer Sergei Krikalev aboard the station. He was followed closely
by Wetherbee, Expedition Two Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan
Helms, and visiting shuttle astronauts Jim Kelly, Andy Thomas and Paul
Richards. All 10 crew members spent several minutes greeting each
other in the spacious Destiny module.
- The arrival of Discovery signaled the beginning of the end of the
Expedition One crew's four and a half month stay onboard the
International Space Station. The first crew members to trade places
Saturday morning were Usachev and Gidzenko. Voss and Krikalev will
switch out on Sunday. Shepherd won’t trade his personalized Soyuz
seat liner for Helms’ until Tuesday evening, allowing almost a week
for the the two commanders to exchange notes. Shepherd remains in
control of expedition operations until the hatches close for the final
time next Saturday.
- The hatches between the two spacecraft were to be closed temporarily
about 5:45 a.m. CST Saturday so that preparations for STS-102's first
space walk by Helms and Voss can begin on time at 10:47 p.m. CST
Saturday. That space walk will involve preparations for berthing of
the Leonardo “moving van,” or Multipurpose Logisitics Module to
the Destiny module.
- The orbiting complex is operating in fine shape at an altitude of
- 235 statute miles.
- The next status report will be issued Saturday morning.
- On Saturday, March 10, 2001, 7:00 p.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 6
- With an exchange of space station crew members already under way,
Discovery’s crew turns its attention to continuing assembly of the
orbital outpost, conducting a space walk set to begin just before 11
p.m., or earlier, to reposition a docking port and installing gear in
preparation for the arrival of the station’s Canadian-built robotic
arm next month.
- While their Commander Yury Usachev begins a handover of duties from
Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd aboard the International Space
Station, the remaining members of the second station crew, astronauts
Jim Voss and Susan Helms, will perform the space walk tonight, which
will be the 17th devoted to assembly of the station.
- The shuttle crew was awakened this evening by the song
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” performed by Starship and
played in anticipation of the planned Extravehicular Activity (EVA).
Voss and Helms were scheduled to begin putting on their spacesuits
about 7:30 p.m. Throughout the planned seven hour EVA, they will be
assisted by Paul Richards, serving as the in-cabin space walk
- Once outside the shuttle’s airlock, their first tasks will be to
prepare for the repositioning of Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 – a
shuttle docking port – which will be repositioned from the
Earth-facing berth on the Unity module to its left-side berth. They
will detach cables on that docking port and also detach a
communications antenna from the left-side berth on Unity. Then their
work will focus on preparing the exterior of the station’s Destiny
Laboratory for the arrival of the space station robotic arm that will
be launched aboard Endeavour next month. They will attach an exterior
cradle to the lab as well as cables that will be used for the arm’s
- After about six hours of work, Voss and Helms will return to
Discovery’s airlock where they will stand by, ready to assist if
needed, as Andy Thomas uses the shuttle’s robotic arm to reposition
the docking port. After more than seven hours outside, they plan to
repressurize the airlock and enter Discovery’s cabin at about 6:12
- The hatches between Discovery and the International Space Station
are closed now after having been opened for only a couple of hours
early this morning just after Discovery docked to the complex. Usachev
immediately moved to the station from the shuttle and Yuri Gidzenko,
pilot for the first station crew, moved to Discovery. The hatches
between the two spacecraft are to be reopened shortly after 8
p.m. Sunday, as the crew begins the fifth day of the mission.
- Discovery and the station are in excellent condition in an orbit
with a high point of 237 statute miles and a low point of 230 statute
miles. The next mission control center status report will be issued
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