STS-80 Day 7 Highlights
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- On Monday, November 25, 1996, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-80 MCC Status Report # 14
- Columbia's crew will retrieve the Wake Shield Facility tonight,
completing a successful mission by the free-flying satellite, which
was able to grow all seven of its planned thin semi-conductor films
over a period of three days.
- Mission Specialist Tom Jones will use the shuttle's robot arm to
grapple the University of Houston-built satellite at 7:56 p.m. CST
Monday, two orbits earlier than had been originally planned.
Scientists report the satellite has performed well and say the
semiconductor films are of excellent quality.
- Mission managers had considered retrieving the Wake Shield a day
earlier than planned, but decided Sunday that its position in relation
to the ORFEUS-SPAS ultraviolet astronomy satellite would be well
within the rendezvous safety margins. Flight controllers had noticed
that ORFEUS-SPAS was closing in on the Wake Shield Facility slightly
faster than predicted and temporarily suspended ORFEUS-SPAS
observations so that it could be placed in a low-resistance attitude,
slowing the rate it was closing on the WSF.
- The five astronauts will awaken at 12:56 p.m. CST this afternoon to
begin preparations for the rendezvous.
- Columbia and its two trailing satellites are evenly spaced, with the
Wake Shield Facility about 19 miles behind Columbia and ORFEUS-SPAS
another 19 miles behind Wake Shield. The shuttle's next maneuver,
which will begin to close the distance to Wake Shield, is scheduled
for approximately 2:45 p.m. CST, and the terminal initiation burn is
scheduled for 5:45 p.m. CST. ORFEUS-SPAS is expected to be 15-16 miles
from Columbia when the Wake Shield is retrieved.
- ORFEUS-SPAS observations resumed at 4 a.m. CST. The satellite's
three instruments have been used to complete more than 100
observations since being released from Columbia almost five days
ago. Observations are scheduled to continue for another nine days.
- Columbia is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 210 miles with all
of its systems operating in excellent shape.
- On Monday, November 25, 1996, 9:00 p.m. CST, STS-80 MCC Status Report # 15
- Securing its precious cargo of advanced semiconductor materials for
awaiting scientists on Earth, Columbia today recaptured the Wake
Shield Facility, one of two science satellites that had been flying in
orbital formation with the shuttle.
- Commander Ken Cockrell flawlessly took the shuttle to within 35 feet
of the satellite and Astronaut Tom Jones latched the mechanical arm
onto the Wake Shield at about 8:01 p.m. CST, as the shuttle flew 220
miles above South America. At the time Wake Shield was captured, the
ORFEUS-SPAS astronomy satellite was continuing to study the origin and
makeup of stars 14 nautical miles away. During the rendezvous,
Columbia's closest approach to ORFEUS-SPAS was about six nautical
miles, exactly as had been predicted by flight controllers and well
within the shuttle limits. ORFEUS-SPAS will remain flying free from
Columbia for another week before it is recaptured.
- Wake Shield Facility scientists reported they completed seven thin
film growths of semiconductor materials, the maximum capability for
the satellite. The satellite performed almost flawlessly throughout
its free-flying mission, and it will be unberthed from Columbia again
tomorrow for further science activities attached to the end of the
shuttle's robotic arm.
- Columbia will fire its steering jets briefly at about 3 a.m. to
maintain formation with the ORFEUS-SPAS, moving out to a distance of
around 25 nautical miles from the satellite. The crew will begin a
sleep period at 5:56 a.m. Tuesday and awaken for Day 8 of STS-80 at
1:56 p.m. Columbia is in a 221 by 214 statute mile orbit.
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