STS-102 Day 8 Highlights
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- On Thursday, March 15, 2001, 7:00 a.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 15
- Aboard the International Space Station today, astronauts and
cosmonauts assembled and partially activated a key piece of
construction equipment – the control station for a 58-foot-long
robot arm that will be delivered to the station next month.
- Expedition Two Flight Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms spent most
of their workday installing the Space Station Remote Manipulator
System workstation inside the Destiny Laboratory. They activated a
portion of the system that will be used to route television pictures
from docked space shuttles to the control station for use by arm
operators. The remaining activation work will start after Discovery
undocks Saturday evening.
- The Canadian-built appendage will be delivered on the STS-100
mission – set to launch April 19 – and attached to the Lab
Cradle Assembly that Voss and Helms bolted to the side of the Destiny
Laboratory Module during their space walk Sunday. The station arm’s
first job will be to install the airlock on STS-104, set for launch
- Load master Andy Thomas coordinated the transfer of equipment,
supplies, trash and luggage between the station and shuttle with the
help of Expedition Two Commander Yury Usachev and fellow Mission
Specialist Paul Richards. All five tons of equipment and supplies
delivered aboard the Leonardo Module have been transferred to the
station. The crew is now concentrating on packing trash, unneeded
equipment and luggage in the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics
Module for return to Earth.
- Commander Jim Wetherbee and Pilot Jim Kelly answered questions posed
by reporters in the area of Burlington, Iowa, Kelly’s
hometown. Wetherbee, Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd, Usachev
and Thomas talked with school children in Dundee, Scotland, who are
following the mission because the crew is carrying a piece of the
sailing research ship RRS Discovery launched 100 years ago at Dundee.
- The astronauts and cosmonauts also took some time off to rest after
a busy week and to continue handing over duties aboard the scientific
- The station and shuttle are orbiting in fine fashion at an altitude
of 240 statute miles following a 50-minute long series of reboost
maneuvers. The gentle, repeated firings of Discovery’s smallest
steering jets took place a day earlier than originally planned to
ensure that the complex would remain clear of a piece of equipment
that floated free during the mission’s first space walk. Further
tracking has shown that the 10.5-pound Portable Foot Restraint
Attachment Device is about 20 miles below and in front of the
shuttle-station complex. Two more reboosts for the station are planned
Friday and Saturday.
- The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued
- Thursday evening.
- On Thursday, March 15, 2001, 7:00 p.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 16
- The 10 astronauts and cosmonauts aboard Discovery and the
International Space Station will spend another day docked to the
orbiting science outpost to pack for the trip home. Discovery’s
STS-102 mission now will end with a landing back in Florida about 1
- The crew was awakened to the song “She Blinded Me With
Science” performed by Thomas Dolby and played in recognition of the
laboratory outfitting and initial station scientific work enabled by
Discovery’s flight. As the crew awoke, Mission Control informed
Commander Jim Wetherbee of the mission’s extension.
- Discovery will now spend almost nine days docked to the station,
allowing ground controllers and the crew more time to ensure all
necessary items are stowed away correctly aboard the Leonardo cargo
module. Leonardo, filled with equipment to return to Earth, now will
be detached from the station and latched back in Discovery’s
payload bay early Sunday morning, a day later than originally
planned. Discovery will undock from the station late Sunday night,
spend Monday checking landing equipment, and return to Earth about
midnight Tuesday. Discovery is planned to fire its deorbit engines at
10:55 p.m. Tuesday, descending to a touchdown at the Kennedy Space
Center, at 11:59 p.m.
- The crews will spend today continuing to pack items aboard the
Leonardo logistics module for return to Earth. In addition, all
crewmembers will participate in a press conference from the Destiny
laboratory at 2:39 a.m., fielding questions from reporters at NASA
centers across the United States and at the Russian control center
- Later, Wetherbee will initiate a second hour-long gentle reboost of
the station, using the shuttle’s small steering jets to raise the
complex’s altitude by several miles. A third reboost session may be
performed before Discovery departs the station.
- Discovery and the International Space Station are in excellent
condition as they circle the Earth once every 92 minutes. The next
Mission Control Center status report will be issued Friday morning.
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