In preparation for the scheduled linkup, Commander Bill Readdy and
Pilot Terry Wilcutt conducted a rendezvous burn at 7:52 p.m. Central
time yesterday to refine Atlantis' approach to the orbiting space
complex. Atlantis is currently closing in on Mir at a rate of 500
nautical miles every orbit. The next rendezvous burn is scheduled for
about 7:30 this evening. The crew also checked out lasers and laptop
computers that will be used for tomorrow night's rendezvous.
Mission Specialists Jay Apt and Carl Walz set up the Active Rack
Isolation System experiment in the SPACEHAB, a prototype of an
International Space Station payload system designed to eliminate
vibrations or disturbances caused by crew activity or engine firings.
The double-rack which houses ARIS also contains almost 400 pounds of
Russian food which is being used to simulate the weight and mass of a
scientific investigation for this first test. ARIS will undergo a
second test run after the food has been removed and transferred to
Mission Specialist Tom Akers began packing up some of the items that
will be transferred from Atlantis to Mir while Pilot Terry Wilcutt
began filling the first four containers of water that will be moved to
Mir during docked operations.
Atlantis' fourth docking with Mir is planned for Wednesday night at
about 10:13 p.m. Central time. During docked operations, Mission
Specialist John Blaha will join the Mir crew for the start of a four
month mission as the third U.S. astronaut to fly aboard the Russian
outpost. Astronaut Shannon Lucid will join Atlantis' crew for her
return trip to Earth to close out a six month research flight. Before
undocking at 8:31 p.m. Central time on September. 23, the astronauts
will transfer food, water, clothing and other supplies to Mir totaling
about 4,600 pounds, and will pick up science experiment samples from
Mir in excess of 2,100 pounds to return to scientists for analysis.
The crew is scheduled to go to bed about 9 this morning and wake up
just before 5 this afternoon to begin the third day of the sixth
Shuttle mission of the year.
On Tuesday, September 17, 1996, 5:00 p.m. CDT, STS-79 MCC Status Report # 4
Space Shuttle Atlantis' six astronauts awakened just before 5
p.m. this afternoon to continue a full slate of on-board experiments
and continue preparations for the Wednesday night rendezvous with
Russia's Mir space station. The crew was awakened with the song
"Rescue Me' by singer Fontella Bass. Capcom Kay Hire called the
wakeup music "a message from Shannon," referring to U.S. astronaut
Dr. Shannon Lucid who has spent approximately six months aboard the
Atlantis will dock with Mir about 10:17 p.m. CDT Wednesday and
begin the process of exchanging Lucid with her replacement, John
Blaha. Atlantis' astronauts spent a busy flight day two in the early
hours of Tuesday, activating the double SPACEHAB module in the
shuttle's payload bay, packing materials and supplies and filling
containers of water which will be delivered to Mir. Transfer
preparations will continue in this flight day to move the over 4,000
pounds of supplies and equipment.
The crew is scheduled to conduct a video tour of the double
Spacehab module about 9:30 p.m. CDT today, time permitting.
Go to STS-79 Flight Day 3 Highlights: