STS-81 Day 1 Highlights
Return to STS-81 Mission Summary
- On Sunday, January 12, 1997, 4:30 a.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 1
- NASA's first Shuttle mission of 1997 began this morning with launch of
Atlantis on Mission STS-81. Launch came at the opening of the
available launch window at 3:27 a.m. CST.
- At the time of launch, Mir was traveling over the Galapagos Islands
about 2400 n.m. southwest of the Kennedy Space Center. About 25
minutes after launch, the Mir 22 crew were notified of Atlantis's
launch and were able to view a video uplink of the event.
- Over the next few days, Atlantis will perform a series of
maneuvering burns as it catches up to the orbiting Russian facility.
Docking of Atlantis and Mir will take place on the fourth flight day
of the mission, Tuesday, January 14th at 9:53 p.m. CST.
- During five days of joint docked operations, 5,975 pounds of science
equipment, logistics and water will be transferred between the two
spacecraft. NASA Astronaut John Blaha, who has been aboard Mir since
mid-September will transfer over to Atlantis and will be coming home
after a 117 day stay aboard the station and 128 days in space. STS-81
crewmember Jerry Linenger will take Blaha's place on Mir and will
serve as a station researcher until Atlantis again docks with the
station in May.
- The STS-81 crew are scheduled to begin an 8 hour sleep period this
morning at 8:27 a.m. CST. Atlantis's crew will be awaken at 4:27
p.m. CST this evening to begin their first full day in space.
- On Sunday, January 12, 1997, 6:30 p.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 2
- Atlantis' six astronauts began their first full day on orbit, waking
at 4:27 p.m. CST today after an eight-hour sleep period following
Sunday's on-time launch at 3:27 a.m.
- Over the next few days, a series of maneuvering burns will be
performed to allow Atlantis to catch up with the orbiting Russian
space station on this fifth Shuttle-Mir docking flight. Atlantis
currently trails Mir by 6,000 nautical miles, closing at the rate of
about 600 miles with every orbit. Shortly after 7 p.m. today,
Commander Mike Baker and Pilot Brent Jett will fire the right orbital
maneuvering system engine in an 8 foot per second burn, slowing
Atlantis' closure rate to about 580 miles per orbit. Docking of
Atlantis and Mir is scheduled for Flight Day 4, Tuesday, January 14th
at 9:53 p.m. CST.
- Baker and Jett also will calibrate the Shuttle's on-board navigation
systems and check out the tools they will use during the rendezvous
and docking. Mission Specialists Jeff Wisoff, John Grunsfeld, Marsha
Ivins and Jerry Linenger will continue their work activating all
systems and experiments aboard Atlantis and the double SPACEHAB
module. The crew members also will exercise on a stationary bicycle
and begin filling the water containers with drinking water that will
be transferred to Mir.
- Atlantis is in a 214 by 345 mile orbit, circling the planet every 90
minutes, with all systems working well.
Go to STS-81 Flight Day 2 Highlights: