STS-102 Day 11 Highlights
Back to STS-102 Flight Day 10 Highlights:
- On Sunday, March 18, 2001, 8:00 a.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 21
- Carrying nearly one ton of trash and excess equipment, along with
personal items belonging to the returning Expedition One crew, the
Leonardo cargo carrier was detached from its port on the International
Space Station early this morning and gently placed back in
Discovery’s payload bay by Mission Specialist Andy Thomas.
- After crewmate Paul Richards released the 16 bolts and associated
latches holding the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to its Common
Berthing Mechanism port, Thomas received a “go” to begin moving
the module with the shuttle’s 50-foot-long robotic arm about 4:40
a.m. CST. About 90 minutes later, at 6:08 a.m., the Italian-built
module was securely latched back in its its cargo bay cradle, ready
for return to Earth.
- Leonardo’s unberthing occurred about four hours later than
originally scheduled, due in part to a leaky vacuum access hose used
to depressurize the small vestibule between Unity and Leonardo. The
hatches between the two modules were closed and the vestibule was
depressurized, but after a 15 minute leak check period, ground
controllers noted pressure in the vestibule was not at expected
levels. Expedition Two flight engineer Jim Voss reported he had found
– and tightened – a loose fitting on one of those hoses. The
crew was then asked to repeat the depressurization procedure, a
process that takes approximately 45 minutes, to verify good seals
between the modules. With that action complete, Thomas was given a go
to proceed with the unberthing of Leonardo.
- Also overnight, Commander Jim Wetherbee and Pilot Jim Kelly verified
the performance of Discovery’s general purpose computers. Ground
analysis indicated that Saturday morning’s quick power-up of two of
those computers would not affect their performance, but flight
controllers elected to perform the on-orbit procedure to validate the
- Discovery’s crew is scheduled to begin its eight-hour sleep
period at 8:42 a.m., waking at 4:42 p.m. The Expedition Two crew will
go to sleep one hour later, at 9:42 a.m. and will awaken at 5:42
p.m. The hatches between Discovery and the ISS will be closed for the
final time on this mission at 7:37 p.m. today following a final
farewell between the STS-102 crew and the two Expedition
crews. Discovery is set to undock from the ISS at 10:32 p.m. today,
concluding a 136-day stay on board the station for its first resident
crew – Commander Bill Shepherd, Soyuz Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and
Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev.
- The next mission status report will be issued Sunday evening.
- On Sunday, March 18, 2001, 7:00 p.m. CST, STS-102 MCC Status Report # 22
- Discovery’s crew – including the first crew of the
International Space Station now returning home after four and a half
months in orbit – bids farewell to the second station crew tonight,
undocking the shuttle from the outpost and preparing for a return to
- The hatches between the shuttle and station were to be closed for a
final time at about 7:30 tonight, leaving Expedition Two Commander
Yury Usachev and his Flight Engineers, astronauts Jim Voss and Susan
Helms, aboard the complex. The second crew is beginning a four-month
stay aboard the station that will see the complex continue to grow in
research capability and self-sufficiency as a robotic arm, more
experiments and a new airlock are attached on future missions.
- The first station expedition crew – led by Commander Bill
Shepherd with Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev
– is returning home after having brought the complex to life during
its stay. The Expedition One crew docked to an uninhabited station
that was about half the size and had only a fraction of the capability
of the orbiting science complex and permanent home they are
departing. The crews bid one another farewell about an hour before the
- “We are on a true space ‘ship’ now, making her way above
any Earthly boundary,” Shepherd said as he handed command to
- “This ship was not built in a safe harbor but on the high
seas,” Discovery Commander Jim Wetherbee added.
- During the almost nine days Discovery has been docked at the
station, the crews unloaded almost five tons of experiments and
equipment and repacked almost a ton of returning items.
Discovery’s mission also has set the stage for the continued
expansion of the station when a Canadian robotic arm is launched
aboard the shuttle Endeavour next month. Pilot Jim Kelly will be at
the shuttle’s helm as Discovery undocks from the station tonight,
planned to occur at 10:32 p.m. Kelly will guide Discovery in an
hour-long station flyaround where he will circle the station one and a
quarter times, 450 feet away, while the crew records television and
photos of the exterior.
- The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued early
- Monday morning.
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