STS-84 Day 8 Highlights
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- On Thursday, May 22, 1997, 1 a.m. CDT, STS-84 MCC Status Report # 15
- Bidding one another goodbye and."dasvedanya," Atlantis' seven
astronauts and Mir's three cosmonauts ended five days of joint
operations Wednesday night when the Shuttle undocked from the Space
Station at 8:04 p.m. high above the Ukraine, east of the capital of
- Atlantis' undocking from Mir was modified from previous joint
missions in that a flyaround of the station for photographic purposes
was not conducted.
- Instead, Pilot Eileen Collins guided Atlantis below the Mir after
the two spacecraft completed their physical seperation, stopping three
times at distances of 90, 300 and 1,500 feet to collect data from a
European sensor device designed to assist future rendezvous' of a
proposed European Space Agency resupply vehicle with the International
Space Station. Once that was completed, the shuttle took advantage of
natural orbital mechanics to drift beneath and out in front of Mir as
it faded from view.
- As a final farewell shortly after undocking, Atlantis' astronauts
sang."The Cosmonauts' Song" to Mir-23 crew members Vasily Tsibliev,
Alexander Lazutkin and astronaut Mike Foale, who is beginning his
four-month research mission on Mir. Foale and his new crewmates played
music as Atlantis departed following the joint phase of the flight.
- In all, 7,537 pounds of water and supplies was transferred between
Atlantis and the Mir during the five days of joint activity between
the crew members. 3,870 pounds of supplies was delivered to the Mir,
while items totaling 2,630 pounds were moved to Atlantis for the trip
back to Earth. More than a thousand pounds of water was delivered to
the Mir for use by the cosmonauts.
- Following undocking, science work continued as Mission Specialist
Elena Kondakova worked with plant experiments in the Biorack facility.
- Jerry Linenger, in the homestretch of his four month stay on orbit,
continued a daily regime of exercise on a treadmill installed on the
Shuttle's middeck floor. Commander Charlie Precourt acted as an
observer, collecting data on the treadmill's operation.
- With the major objectives of their mission now complete, the
astronauts will begin an eight hour sleep period about noon and will
receive a wake up call from Mission Control shortly after 8
p.m. tonight to begin the routine pre-landing checkout of Atlantis'
systems for its planned return to Earth Saturday morning at the
Kennedy Space Center.
- On Thursday, May 22, 1997, 6:30 p.m. CDT, STS-84 MCC Status Report # 16
- With the exchange of two crew members and more than three tons of
food, water, equipment and experiment samples complete, the main
objectives of the STS-84 mission have been achieved and the astronauts
aboard the Atlantis are turning their attention toward packing up for
the return home.
- Mission Specialist Jerry Linenger will return to Earth on Saturday
after 122 days aboard the Mir Space Station, while fellow astronaut
Mike Foale will remain on the orbiting Rusian facility for four and a
half months of research. Atlantis and Mir are now just over 3,000
nautical miles apart and the distance is growing by about 23 n.m. each
- Commander Charlie Precourt and his crew are scheduled to wake at
8:08 p.m. CDT this evening to begin what should be their final full
day in space. Their activities this evening and early tomorrow will
include stowing experiments and equipment and checking out orbiter
systems used during the deorbit, entry and landing phases of the
- Precourt, along with Pilot Eileen Collins and Mission Specialist
Carlos Noriega will perform a test of the Reaction Control System
(RCS) jets that are used to maneuver the Shuttle in space. They will
also check the Shuttle's flight control systems to verify the various
aerosurface hardware - the elevons, rudder and speed brake used to
steer the Shuttle once it is back in Earth's atmosphere - are in good
- Several crew members will help with the final stowage of Mir
transfer items in the SPACEHAB and general cabin stowage in the
middeck and will participate in an educational video being shot
onboard. Elena Kondakova will stow the VHF radio gear that was used
for ship-to-ship communications with Mir. Jean-Francois Clervoy and
Kondakova will be responsible for teardown of SPACEHAB hardware in
preparation for entry and landing. Ed Lu and Kondakova will stow
Atlantis' KU-band communications antenna, and Jerry Linenger, who has
been in space since mid-January, will get a final exercise period in
before his return to Earth.
- Precourt, Collins, Kondakova and Linenger will pause from their
return preparations early tomorrow morning to participate in an
interview with the NBC."Today" Show and Connus Communications. The
two interviews are scheduled for 4:38 a.m. CDT on Friday.
- Atlantis and the STS-84 crew are scheduled to return to Kennedy
Space Center on Saturday morning. The deorbit burn is planned for
5:51 a.m. CDT with a landing a little over an hour later at 6:53
a.m. CDT at Kennedy Space Center.s Shuttle Landing Facility. The long
range weather forecast shows good weather for Atlantis' return the
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