STS-81 Day 3 Highlights
Back to STS-81 Flight Day 02 Highlights:
- On Tuesday, January 14, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 5
- Atlantis' astronauts continued their chase of the Mir Space Station
and closed in for a docking with the Russian outpost tonight as they
wrapped up their third day of orbital operations.
- With Atlantis narrowing the gap between itself and the Mir, the
astronauts spent most of their workday completing preparations for the
rendezvous and linkup of the two spacecraft, which is scheduled for
9:53 p.m. tonight. Pilot Brent Jett finished the checkout of
navigation tools which will be used during the rendezvous and joined
John Grunsfeld to install a camera in the Orbiter Docking System to
provide television views of the docking target on the Mir for
Commander Mike Baker to use as he flys Atlantis to its docking from
the Shuttle's aft flight deck control panel.
- Jeff Wisoff and Grunsfeld then extended the outer ring of the Orbiter
Docking System to verify its health and place it in the proper
configuration for its contact and capture of the docking mechanism on
the docking port attached to the Mir.
- Last night, Wisoff, Marsha Ivins and Jerry Linenger spent several
hours assembling a device called TVIS, the Treadmill Vibration
Isolation and Stabilization System, which is an experiment for the
International Space Station program designed to minimize vibrations
caused by crew exercise. Minimizing or eliminating vibration is
critical to maintaining a quiet environment during processing activity
of sensitive experiments.
- The crew will wake up at 3:37 this afternoon to begin the final
rendezvous activities leading toward the docking tonight. About an
hour and a half after docking, the hatches between the two spacecraft
will be opened and the five days of docked operations will begin,
including the crew exchange of Linenger with John Blaha and the
transfer of nearly 6,000 pounds of water, experiments and logistical
- Baker and Linenger talked about the rendezvous and docking as well as
life aboard Mir in an interview with CNN prior to going to be this
- Atlantis is closing in on Mir at a rate of about 310 nautical miles
every orbit. That closing rate will place the orbiter behind the
station at about 8 miles at the time of the terminal initiation burn
tonight at 7:14 setting the stage for the final approach and docking.
- On Tuesday, January 14, 1997, 5:00 p.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 6
- STS-81 Commander Mike Baker's first words to Mission Control this
morning were"Good morning, Houston - 500 miles to go."
- Baker and the rest of the crew - Pilot Brent Jett and Mission
Specialists Jeff Wisoff, John Grunsfeld, Marsha Ivins and Jerry
Linenger - immediately began working on the final preparations for
rendezvous and docking with the Russian Mir Space Station, conducting
a waste water dump, preparing the SPACEHAB module and hatches for the
link-up, and readying items that will be transferred to Mir for the
journey through the permanent docking adapter tunnel.
- The crew was awakened at 3:38 p.m. CST Tuesday with the
song "Hitchin' a Ride" by Vanity Fare, in honor of both Linenger and
John Blaha. Linenger is hitching a ride aboard Atlantis to the Russian
space station and a four-month stay, and Blaha will be hitching a ride
back to Earth after a four-month stay on Mir.
- Docking remains scheduled for 9:53 p.m. CST tonight. The crew's next
maneuver in support of the rendezvous will be a jet firing at 5:40
p.m. The terminal initiation burn that begins the final approach phase
is scheduled for 7:14 p.m. CST. Atlantis is closing in on Mir at a
rate of about 310 nautical miles every orbit and will be about 8 miles
behind the station at the time of the terminal initiation burn.
- Yesterday, the crew finished the checkout of navigation tools that
will be used during the rendezvous, set up a camera in the Orbiter
Docking System to provide television views of the Mir docking target
for Baker to use at the shuttle's aft flight deck control panel, and
extending the outer ring of the Orbiter Docking System.
- The two spacecraft will be about 210 miles above and southeast of
Moscow at the time of docking. About an hour and a half after docking,
the hatches between the two spacecraft will be opened and the five
days of docked operations will begin, including the crew exchange of
Linenger with Blaha and the transfer of nearly 6,000 pounds of water,
experiments and logistical items.
Go to STS-81 Flight Day 4 Highlights: