STS-77 Day 5 Highlights
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- On Thursday, May 23, 1996, 7 a.m. CDT, STS-77 MCC Status Report # 9
- The work aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour has switched from
rendezvous and proximity operations with satellites to science
gathering aboard an orbiting laboratory.
- The six astronauts spent the first half of their workday assisting
payload controllers with investigations into materials processing of
samples and the growth of crystals while documenting the progress of
starfish and mussel development in a spaceborne aquarium in the
Spacehab module in the Shuttle's cargo bay.
- The crew was awakened at 11:30 PM Central time last night with a
children's song from Mission Control called "Milky Way". The crew then
moved off in different directions to support work with many of the
experiments that make up the fourth mission of the SPACEHAB
- Endeavour is about 64 miles away from the Passive Aerodynamically
Stabilized Magnetically Damped Satellite-Satellite Test Unit, or
PAMS-STU, which was deployed from a canister in the payload bay
yesterday. A small engine firing aboard Endeavour is planned later
this morning to begin the slow re-rendezvous with the satellite
scheduled for Saturday.
- This technology demonstration experiment investigates the use of
natural, aerodynamic stabilization to orient a spacecraft properly, a
technique that could prolong the lifetime of future satellites by
reducing or eliminating the requirement for attitude control
- During the first proximity operations of Endeavour to the satellite,
a strong lock on the satellite using the laser-based tracking
instruments aboard the shuttle was not obtained. However, two more
close rendezvous operations with the satellite are planned Saturday
and Sunday to check its progress. Those stationkeeping exercises are
expected to last up to six and a half hours each.
- The astronauts also completed an in-flight maintenance procedure to
improve the flow of beverages in a dispenser aboard Endeavour designed
to test the capability of soft drinks to stay cold and carbonated in
- The astronauts will go to bed at 2:30 this afternoon and will wake
up at 10:30 tonight. Endeavour continue to provide a stable platform
for the science investigations going on around the clock, even while
the crew sleeps. The orbiter's current altitude is 175 statute miles
with an orbital period of 90 minutes.
- On Thursday, May 23, 1996, 4 p.m. CDT, STS-77 MCC Status Report # 10
- Endeavour's crew members spent their fifth day in space tending to a
host of experiments today, ranging from biological studies of sea
creatures in weightlessness to experiments in crystal growth and
- Commander John Casper, Pilot Curt Brown and Mission Specialists Dan
Bursch and Andy Thomas took a brief break from their work today to
answer questions from CNN, and Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau, along
with Bursch, also spoke with Canadian networks CBC and RDI. As the
attention of the crew turned to the laboratory work inside the
spacecraft, Endeavour maintained its distance from the PAMS-STU
satellite released yesterday. Casper fired the shuttle's jets today in
one of a series of periodic engine firings which, during the next two
days, will keep Endeavour poised for a return to the PAMS- STU
Saturday for continued studies of the satellite's stability.
- Also today, Bursch and Garneau repaired the Fluid Generic
Bioprocessing Apparatus, an orbital soft drink dispenser, which had a
cooling problem. The dispenser was then tested by the crew and
currently is working well in filling drink containers.
- The six astronauts will be awakened at 10:30 p.m. central time today
to begin their sixth flight day on orbit, another day devoted to
scientific and technical investigations in the SPACEHAB module. The
crew also will enjoy a few hours off tomorrow, a standard policy
during longer shuttle missions, to ensure the crew remains well
- Endeavour continues to circle the Earth every 90 minutes at an
altitude of 175 miles with all systems on board performing well.
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