STS-71 Day 9 Highlights
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- On Wednesday, July 5, 1995, 6 a.m. CDT, STS-71 MCC Status Report # 16
- Flying solo and ahead of the Mir space station by about 120 nautical
miles, the crew on board Atlantis awoke to a children's song, "I Love
My Moon," a special dedication to Commander Hoot Gibson from his
26-day old daughter Emilee Louise.
- Atlantis carried seven crew members into orbit, and following the
conclusion of its joint operations with the Mir space station, is
scheduled to return to Earth on Friday morning with eight passengers
on board, equalling the largest crew (STS-61A, Oct. `85) in Shuttle
history. The Mir 19 cosmonauts-- Commander Anatoly Solovyev and Flight
Engineer Nikolai Budarin -- who reached orbit on board Atlantis, now
begin a two-month stay on board the space station while the Mir 18
crew -- Vladimir Dezhurov, Gennady Strekalov and Norm Thagard -- are
returning to Earth on board Atlantis. Solovyev and Budarin are
scheduled to take the first of three planned spacewalks during their
flight on July 14th to inspect a side docking port on the Mir and to
free a balky solar panel on the Kvant-2 science module.
- The primary activities today aboard Atlantis focus on the continuing
medical and scientific investigations being conducted in the Spacelab
science workshop in the Shuttle's cargo bay. The Mir 18 crew members,
beginning their 113th day on orbit, are the primary test subjects for
the ongoing studies into how the human body responds to extended
- The investigations are designed to increase understanding of, and
countermeasures for, a phenomenon referred to as orthostatic
intolerance. This is a feeling of lightheadedness that astronauts may
experience when attempting to stand upright after returning to
Earth. Mir 18 crew members will use either the Lower Body Negative
Pressure unit -- a bag-like device that pulls fluids from the upper
portion of the body to the lower extremities -- or a baroreflex neck
cuff that mimics arterial pressure on sensors located in the arteries
of the neck, to see how autonomic control of cardiovascular
orthostatic function responds to microgravity.
- Earlier this morning, Commander Hoot Gibson, Pilot Charlie Precourt,
Dezhurov and Thagard took time from their schedules to discuss their
docking mission to the Mir Station with NBC's "Today" show.
- On Wednesday, July 5, 1995, 5 p.m. CDT, STS-71 MCC Status Report # 17
- With the Mir space station growing ever more dim behind them,
Atlantis' crew members concentrated today on biomedical research in
the Shuttle's Spacelab module.
- The Mir space station is now about 200 nautical miles behind Atlantis
and continuing to fall behind by about 9 nautical miles per orbit.
Nevertheless, Commander Hoot Gibson reported he can still clearly see
the station as a distant star with each sunrise.
- The Mir's former inhabitants--Mir 18 crewmen Vladimir Dezhurov,
Gennady Strekalov and astronaut Norm Thagard--now in orbit for 113
days, were the subjects of the scientific investigations aboard
Atlantis. Strekalov and Thagard each spent a session in the Lower
Body Negative Pressure device--a device that simulates the effects of
gravity by using lower air pressure to pull body fluids to the legs.
Also, a series of experiments was performed dealing with the reflex
responses of the cardiovascular system. Each crewman also exercised
on the treadmill.
- To fix a minor problem onboard, Gibson and Pilot Charlie Precourt
rigged an alternate method of supplying power to equipment that allows
the crew to send electronic still photographs to the ground. The fix
is working well, and several new images were received by controllers
this afternoon. The crew began an 8-hour sleep period at 5:32 p.m. and
will awaken Thursday at 1:32 a.m. Central for another day of medical
work and several standard checks of equipment Atlantis will need for
its landing on Friday.
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