STS-84 Day 7 Highlights
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- On Wednesday, May 21, 1997, 8:00 a.m. CDT, STS-84 MCC Status Report # 13
- The ten astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the Atlantis-Mir space
complex said their final farewells and closed the hatches on their two
spacecraft this morning, wrapping up five days of joint operations in
which about 7,000 pounds of supplies, experiments and water were
transferred between the two vehicles, as well as astronaut Mike Foale,
who swapped places with Jerry Linenger for the start of a four-month
research mission on the Russian outpost.
- The final handshakes by Commanders Charlie Precourt and Vasily
Tsibliev came moments before the hatches between Atlantis and Mir
swung shut at 7:43 a.m. Central time, leaving Foale behind on the
Russian outpost to begin his tour of duty along with Tsibliev and
Flight Engineer Alexander Lazutkin.
- The final farewells and hatch closure set the stage for the undocking
of Atlantis from the Mir tonight at 8:04 p.m. Central time, which will
complete the sixth docking flight between the U.S. and Russia. Plans
called for Atlantis to back away below Mir to a distance of 3300 feet
to test a European Space Agency sensor device designed to compute
range and range rate data for ESA resupply vehicle dockings
contemplated for the new International Space Station in the next
- There will be no flyaround of the Mir by Atlantis after undocking
tonight as has been the case in previous missions to allow for the ESA
sensor studies. The laws of orbital mechanics will allow Atlantis to
separate from Mir naturally without additional jet thruster firings.
- Overnight, Linenger and Foale took viewers of NASA Television on a
comprehensive tour of the Mir Space Station, displaying all of the
station's modules and points of interest, including the locations of
experiment activity and an area near the spot outside the Kvant-1
module where a brief fire broke out in February due to the failure of
an oxygen-generating canister.
- The ten crew members also fielded questions from reporters in the
U.S. and Europe during a joint crew news conference in the Mir Core
Module. They discussed the results of their mission and prospects for
continuing U.S-Russian space cooperation in the future.
- Atlantis' astronauts began their workday shortly after 8
p.m. Tuesday night when Mission Control played the Russian National
Anthem - called."Patriotic Song" - in honor of cosmonaut and Mission
Specialist Elena Kondakova. The two crews on Atlantis and Mir, now
seperated by closed hatches, will turn in at 11:08 Central time this
morning for abbreviated sleep periods. The seven astronauts will be
awakened at 6:08 p.m. to prepare for undocking, one hour after the Mir
23 cosmonauts are awakened by Russian flight controllers.
- Atlantis and Mir continue to fly smoothly on in an orbit about 220
miles above the Earth, circling the planet every 90 minutes. All
systems on both spacecraft continue to function normally.
- On Wednesday, May 21, 1997, 6:30 p.m. CDT, STS-84 MCC Status Report # 14
- Docked operations between the Atlantis and Mir will conclude this
evening when the Shuttle undocks at approximately 8:04 p.m. CDT to
conclude the joint work conducted during this sixth Shuttle-Mir
- The crew aboard Atlantis were awakened at 6:08 p.m. to begin Flight
Day 8. The wake up music this evening was."Triste et Bleu" by French
singer Michele Jonasz which was requested by Mission Specialist
- The crew are now in their post-sleep period and will shortly begin
final preparations for tonight's undocking.
- Once Atlantis is ready to undock from Mir, the initial separation
will be performed by springs that will gently push the shuttle away
from the docking module. Both the Mir and Atlantis will be in a mode
called."free drift" during the undocking. During "free
drift" the steering jets of each spacecraft are shut off to avoid
any inadvertent firings.
- Once the docking mechanism's springs have pushed Atlantis away to a
distance of about two feet from Mir, where the docking devices will be
clear of one another, Atlantis' steering jets will be turned back on
and fired in the Low-Z mode to begin slowly moving away from Mir.
- For the STS-84 mission, Atlantis will continue away from Mir until
it reaches a distance of approximately 3,000 feet below the Mir where
it will stop to test a European laser docking sensor. Unlike previous
Shuttle-Mir flights, there will be no fly-around of the station for
photo documentation. When Atlantis reaches the 3,000 foot distance,
instead of firing jet thrusters to perform a separation maneuver, the
Shuttle will depend on the natural forces of one spacecraft being in a
lower orbit than another which will cause the Shuttle to move ahead of
- Early tomorrow morning at 7:44 a.m., Mission Specialist
Jean-Francois Clervoy and his Atlantis crewmates will conduct an
interactive event with students gathered at the Arianspace launch
center in Kourou, French Guiana and a French radio network in Paris,
- About 30 minutes later at 8:14 a.m., Carlos Noriega, who was born in
Lima, Peru, will receive a VIP phone call from Peruvian President
Albert Fujimori and the U.S. Ambassador to Peru, Dennis Jett. Noriega
will also answer questions from the CBS Telenoticias organization in
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