STS-80 Day 11 Highlights
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- On Friday, November 29, 1996, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-80 MCC Status Report # 22
- The planned spacewalk by astronauts Tammy Jernigan and Tom Jones was
canceled late Thursday after the airlock outer hatch failed to open.
An engineering team spent all night and into this morning gathering
data to assist in determining a cause for the problem and what action
- The crew's schedule has been adjusted by one hour to preserve the
option for another spacewalk attempt tonight. The shuttle mission
management team will meet late this morning to review the data
collected thus far and will determine what troubleshooting measures
are available and whether another spacewalk will be attempted tonight.
- Because the meeting occurs while the crew sleeps, Commander Ken
Cockrell, Pilot Kent Rominger and Mission Specialists Story Musgrave,
Jernigan and Jones will likely not find out what has been decided
until they wake up shortly before 3 p.m. central time.
- If the decision is made to attempt the spacewalk tonight, it would
begin about 8:15 p.m.
- A minor problem reading electrocardiogram data on Jones space suit
was determined to be a signal conditioner which would be replaced with
a spare should the spacewalk be rescheduled. The problem in itself
would not have precluded the spacewalk from occurring last night.
- The ORFEUS-SPAS astronomy satellite continues to operate as planned
some 20 nautical miles behind the orbiter. A station-keeping engine
firing was not required this morning since the two spacecraft are
maintaining a stable operating distance from one another. The next
planned rendezvous burn is set for about six o'clock this evening.
- On Friday, November 29, 1996, 6:00 p.m. CST, STS-80 MCC Status Report # 24
- As Columbia's astronauts began their 11th day in space, NASA
engineers and managers continued troubleshooting and analysis of the
balky shuttle hatch handle which forced a cancellation of the
spacewalk by Tammy Jernigan and Tom Jones Thursday night.
- Throughout the day, teams of engineers conferred on possible options
to free up the hatch handle, which stops after about 30 degrees of
rotation, unable to release latches around the circumference of the
airlock hatch. Mission Operations Representative Jeff Bantle said the
analysis conducted so far indicates that the most likely suspect for
the problem could be a misalignment of the hatch against the airlock
- Engineers are examining possible procedures to assist in opening the
hatch that could include warming up the airlock hatch through a
reorientation of the shuttle; applying pressure against the airlock
seals; and having crewmembers apply force against the hatch while the
handle is rotated with the airlock depressurized. Still, however,
engineers have not as yet determined the exact nature of the problem
nor found a definitive solution.
- Shuttle managers will get an update from the engineers conducting
the analysis on Saturday morning and are expected to make a decision
at that time on whether any further spacewalks will be attempted
- The astronauts were awakened at 2:56 p.m. Central time to the sound
of the song "Changes" by David Bowie, reflecting the modifications
being made to the flight plan because of the airlock hatch handle
problem. Throughout the night tonight and early Saturday morning, the
astronauts will assist in the engineering analysis of the hatch
problem in any ways that may be needed by ground controllers, make
preparations for a possible second spacewalk attempt, and have
exercise sessions, which are a standard activity on long shuttle
- Columbia is in a 222 by 211 statute mile orbit. The shuttle is
orbiting about 27 miles ahead of the ORFEUS-SPAS astronomy satellite,
which is in its 10th day of free-flying celestial observations.
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