On Thursday, September 14, 1995, 3 p.m. CDT, STS-69 MCC Status Report # 15
With the Wake Shield Facility stowed securely in Endeavour's
payload bay, the five astronauts on board are enjoying a well-deserved
After Commander Dave Walker and Pilot Ken Cockrell manuevered
Endeavour alongside the 4300-pound satellite, Mission Specialist Jim
Newman reached out with the shuttle's robot arm and plucked it from
orbit. Capture came at 8:59 a.m. CDT, with berthing of Wake Shield
back in its carrier platform at 10:18 a.m.
Prior to capturing Wake Shield, Walker and Cockrell performed a
series of 14 thruster firings at distances of 290 and 200 feet
respectively. These jet firings were designed to gather data on the
effect of thruster plumes against orbiting space structures. The Wake
Shield's attitude control system performed well during the thruster
firings as sensors measured the force and pressure of the jet plumes.
During Wake Shield's three days of free flight, four of seven
possible epitaxial film runs were successfully completed. The films
will be evaluated once the satellite is returned to Earth.
With its two free-flying payloads retrieved and secured in the
payload bay, Endeavour's astronauts turned their attention to the
remaining four days of activity. Walker and Cockrell fired
Endeavour's orbital maneuvering system jets this afternoon to lower
Endeavour's orbit from 216 nautical miles to 183 nautical miles.
At the same time, Mission Specialists Jim Voss, Jim Newman and Mike
Gernhardt began preparing Endeavour for Saturday morning's planned
spacewalk, lowering the cabin pressure to 10.2 psi from the standard
14.7 psi. Voss and Gernhardt will conduct a 6-hour spacewalk to
evaluate thermal modifications to their spacesuits and test tool
handling techniques for possible space station assembly.
Shortly before beginning an 8-hour sleep period at 3:09 p.m., Walker
reported to ground controllers that the handles of the rowing machine
used during exercise were stuck in the extended position. While
engineers on the ground are reviewing repair options, a bicycle
ergometer is available on board for the crew to use. The crew will be
awakened by Mission Control at 11:09 p.m. to begin another day on
orbit. Endeavour is orbiting the Earth every 92 minutes at an altitude
of 183 nautical miles with all of its systems operating normally.
Go to STS-69 Flight Day 9 Highlights: