STS-77 Day 8 Highlights
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- On Sunday, May 26, 1996, 8 a.m. CDT, STS-77 MCC Status Report # 15
- Endeavour's crew spent the first half of its eighth day on orbit
working with experiments and helping payload controllers troubleshoot
unexpected readings by equipment designed to acquire data on the
PAMS-STU satellite's ability to stabilize itself.
- Commander John Casper and Pilot Curt Brown watched over orbiter
systems and helped Bursch and payload controllers on the ground
investigate potential causes of the failure of the Attitude
Measurement System to effectively lock on to reflective targets
mounted on the PAMS-STU satellite. Even though video of the satellite
and information from the shuttle's radar system showed the satellite
in a stable attitude using aerodynamic stabilization rather than
propellant for control, the AMS continued to lock on to an unknown
target that may be an undetermined structure in the payload bay.
- Troubleshooting is continuing and experts on the ground are
discussing what course of action to take leading up to tomorrow's
third and final planned rendezvous with the small satellite.
Scientists asked to postpone the final encounter by 24 hours to allow
time to evaluate the laser-based measuring system designed to record
data accurate to one-tenth of one degree.
- The astronauts took time out from their schedule to discuss the
progress of the mission with reporters. Casper said the flight has
been highly successful so far, having accomplished all of the goals
set out before launch.
- Overnight, Mission Specialists Dan Bursch and Andy Thomas described
protein crystal growth and plant growth experiments being conducted
throughout the flight in the SPACEHAB module. Meanwhile, Mario Runco
tested soft drink samples in the Fluids Generic Bioprocessing
Apparatus and Marc Garneau checked sample growth in the Commercial
Float Zone Furnace.
- On Sunday, May 26, 1996, 4 p.m. CDT, STS-77 MCC Status Report # 16
- Endeavour's crew spent its eighth day in orbit working with a host
of on-board experiments and performing a quick repair on a SPACEHAB
module cooling system.
- Mission Specialists Andy Thomas and Dan Bursch fixed a faulty cooling
system in the SPACEHAB module today by switching a valve in the
cooling water loop to a backup motor. For the past day, the valve had
not been opening and closing in response to the settings of a
thermostat in the module, set to regulate the temperature at about 76
degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures in the module had cooled off to about
70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day the valve was stuck open. It is
now operating normally.
- Crew members also spent a half-hour answering questions from
U.S. and Canadian media during their in-flight news conference.
- In preparation for Monday morning's planned rendezvous with the
PAMS-STU satellite, Commander John Casper fired Endeavour's
steering jets to put the shuttle on a course closing in toward
PAMS-STU. Endeavour had been moving away from the satellite for about
24 hours, reaching a maximum distance of about 115 miles before that
engine firing. The two spacecraft currently are about 60 nautical
miles apart, with Endeavour closing in on PAMS-STU at the rate of 2
nautical miles per orbit.
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