STS-81 Day 9 Highlights
Back to STS-81 Flight Day 08 Highlights:
- On Monday, January 20, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 17
- Atlantis and the Mir Space Station are flying on their own this
morning after undocking from one another last night, ending five days
of joint operations in which more than three tons of food, water and
logistical supplies were transferred between the two spacecraft.
- Atlantis and Mir undocked at 8:15 p.m. CST last night over Central
Russia, southeast of Moscow. Atlantis' astronauts left Jerry Linenger
behind on Mir to begin four months of scientific research, and picked
up astronaut John Blaha, who is wrapping up his four month mission
which began last September.
- After Atlantis separated from Mir, Pilot Brent Jett initiated a
two-revolution flyaround of the Russian complex at a distance of about
560 feet. At 10:00 p.m., Jett fired maneuvering jets to separate
Atlantis from Mir for the final time until May, when the shuttle will
return on STS-84 to deliver astronaut Mike Foale to the outpost as
- With the undocking complete, the astronauts began reassembling a
treadmill device in Atlantis' middeck. The treadmill is designed to
reduce or eliminate vibrations from crew exercise which could one day
compromise the integrity of microgravity experiments on board the
International Space Station. Technical glitches last week resulted in
lost data which prompted engineers to reschedule the experiment.
- Commander Mike Baker, Blaha and Jett took turns exercising on the
Treadmill Vibration Isolation System before it was disassembled for
the remainder of the flight. Payload controllers confirmed they
received valuable data from the experiment on ground computers.
- Based on the successful retrieval of that data, it is unlikely that
Atlantis' mission will be extended beyond the planned end of mission
Wednesday. An orbit adjust burn is scheduled this morning before the
crew goes to sleep. The burn is designed to protect daylight landing
opportunities at both the prime landing site at the Kennedy Space
Center and the backup location at Edwards Air Force Base in case the
mission was extended two days or more for weather reasons.
- The six astronauts are scheduled to wake up at 8:27 p.m. to check all
orbiter systems in anticipation of Wednesday's landing.
- On Monday, January 20, 1997, 6:30 p.m. CST, STS-81 MCC Status Report # 18
- With the exchange of two crew members and more than three tons of
food, water, equipment and experiment samples complete, the main
objectives of Atlantis' international cooperation mission have been
achieved and the astronauts aboard the space shuttle are turning their
attentions toward packing up for the return home.
- Mission specialist John Blaha will return to Earth Wednesday after
four months aboard the Russian the Mir Space Station , while fellow
astronaut Jerry Linenger will remain on Mir for another four months of
research. Their respective orbital homes are now 1,000 miles apart and
the distance is growing by almost 150 miles each orbit.
- Before turning in for an extended nine-hour sleep period, Atlantis
commander Mike Baker and pilot Brent Jett adjusted the shuttle's orbit
to protect daylight landing opportunities at the prime landing site at
the Kennedy Space Center.and the backup location at Edwards Air Force
Base in case weather conditions force an extension of the mission.
- Baker, Jett, Blaha and mission specialists John Grunsfeld, Jeff Wisoff
and Marsha Ivins are scheduled to wake at 8:27 p.m. CST, then at 11:30
p.m. conduct a check of the aerodynamic control surfaces that will be
used to guide the shuttle in Earth's atmosphere, and at 12:30 a.m. CST
Tuesday hot fire the reaction control system thrusters that steer the
vehicle outside the atmosphere.
- Aside from exercise sessions for all six crew members, the rest of the
day will be devoted to packing up and securing equipment for the ride
Go to STS-81 Flight Day 10 Highlights: