STS-77 Day 6 Highlights
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- On Friday, May 24, 1996, 6 a.m. CDT, STS-77 MCC Status Report # 11
- Halfway through the STS-77 mission, the six Endeavour astronauts
spent some time relaxing, then went back to working in the SPACEHAB
module and preparing to revisit a small cylindrical satellite they
deployed several days ago.
- While Commander John Casper and Pilot Curt Brown monitored
Endeavour's systems, Mission Specialist Mario Runco tested an attitude
determination system using the GPS attitude and navigation experiment
called GANE. The remaining crew members -- Mission Specialists Andy
Thomas, Dan Bursch and Marc Garneau -- monitored the health of
experiments ongoing in the SPACEHAB and on the middeck of the orbiter.
- Thomas monitored the Space Experiment Facility (SEF), Garneau worked
with the Commercial Float Zone Furnace (CFZF), changing samples and
videotapes, and Bursch taste tested soda in the Fluids Generic
Bioprocessing Apparatus (FGBA), which was repaired during an inflight
maintenance procedure yesterday.
- The crew also conducted a health check of the Aquatic Research
Facility (ARF) which contains starfish, mussels and sea urchins.
Three separate investigations are being conducted to study embryonic
development in space, adult tissue structure and the ability to orient
to the microgravity environment of space. The investigations are
designed to help researchers understand and improve models of human
adaptation to space and the factors that may disrupt that adaptation.
- The crew will perform a small engine firing later today to refine
the distance between Endeavour and the small PAMS-STU satellite in
preparation for tomorrow's planned second rendezvous with the
spacecraft. The astronauts answered questions from the rendezvous team
in Mission Control to better understand their ability to see the
satellite and verify its orientation under different lighting
conditions. The two spacecraft are currently about 60 miles apart.
- The crew will go to sleep at 1:30 this afternoon and wakeup at 9:30
tonight. Endeavour's 11th mission begins the second half of the
flight at a stable altitude of 175 miles with an orbital period of 90
- On Friday, May 24, 1996, 5 p.m. CDT, STS-77 MCC Status Report # 12
- Endeavour's astronauts enjoyed a few hours off today following a
busy pace of scientific investigations and satellite deployments
during the first half of their mission.
- Crewmembers today tended to several investigations in the SPACEHAB
module and on Endeavour's middeck, and began preparations for Saturday
morning's rendezvous with the PAMS-STU satellite. The small satellite
was deployed from Endeavour's payload bay Wednesday to begin a study
into the use of natural, aerodynamic stabilization to maintain a
spacecraft's attitude on orbit.
- Saturday morning's rendezvous will be the second visit paid by
Endeavour to the satellite since its deployment. Commander John
Casper and Pilot Curt Brown will again pull to within 2,000 feet
behind PAMS-STU and remain there for approximately six and one-half
hours. During that stationkeeping exercise, a device in Endeavour's
cargo bay will measure the satellite's stability and orientation by
reflecting light on the satellite. The images returned by those
reflectors will be recorded by the AMS for subsequent analysis to
determine the satellite's stability on orbit.
- Preparations for the rendezvous will begin shortly after the crew
awakens at 9:30 p.m. Central time today. Casper and Brown will
perform a series of engine firings to put Endeavour on a course to
intercept PAMS-STU, and should arrive at the 2,000-foot point about 3
a.m. central time Saturday.
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