STS-85 Day 3 Highlights
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- On Saturday, August 9, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CDT, STS-85 MCC Status Report # 5
- Discovery's astronauts continue to conduct and monitor experiments
that will help some researchers measure atmospheric phenomena while
other crew members gather data on experiments and hardware that will
be used on the International Space Station.
- Serving as a testbed for those ISS evaluations, the orbiter is
functioning in excellent fashion while the crew gathers data using the
Space Vision System - a series of dots strategically placed on various
payload and vehicle structures that permit precise alignment and
pointing that could be invaluable on the space station when a clear
line of sight by the crew is not available.
- In addition to SVS, the crew is evaluating a system designed to
dampen vibrations that could be harmful to sensitive science
experiments. The Microgravity Vibration Isolation Mount, or MIM, also
can induce vibrations that scientists can use to determine what
effects those vibrations have on experiment operations. It will be
operated throughout the day by Canadian Astronaut and Payload
Specialist Bjarni Tryggvason.
- While Payload Commander Jan Davis focused on SVS operations, Mission
Specialist Steve Robinson worked with a controlled-flame investigation
called the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment. Robinson also will
setup and operate a small ultraviolet imaging telescope to view Comet
Hale-Bopp. The shuttle's robot arm will be strategically placed to
provide shading of orbiter windows during the telescope's
- Mission Commander Curt Brown and Pilot Kent Rominger continue to
periodically fire thruster jets on the orbiter to maintain an adequate
distance from the free-flying CRISTA-SPAS satellite which was deployed
on launch day. The satellite will gather atmospheric data, including
ozone measurements, that will be useful in calibrating other
- Flight Engineer Bob Curbeam will spend his day assisting with the
Space Vision System and Hale-Bopp observations, while overseeing work
with the Bioreactor Demonstration System, which will evaluate a cell
culture incubator and a biotechnology specimen temperature controller.
Cell biology experiments in space could lead to the use of
microgravity to manufacture tissues from individual cells.
- The STS-85 crew was awakened at 2:40 this morning to the song."Don't
Look Down," by Lindsey Buckingham. The astronauts' third flight day
on Discovery ends at 5:40 this afternoon.
- On Saturday, August 9, 1997, 5:00 p.m. CDT, STS-85 MCC Status Report # 6
- Work to understand how fires behave in a weightless environment,
observations of Comet Hale-Bopp and checkout of a vision system
designed to aid in the construction of the International Space Station
were among the tasks accomplished today by Discovery's six-person
- Following what has been another busy day of on orbit operations,
Commander Curt Brown, Pilot Kent Rominger along with Mission
Specialists Jan Davis, Robert Curbeam, Steve Robinson and Canadian
Payload Specialist Bjarni Tryggvason will shortly begin an eight hour
sleep period at 5:41 p.m. CDT.
- Early today, Rominger worked with a controlled flame experiment
called the Solid Surface Combustion Experiment (SSCE). This
experiment is designed to understand how flames behave in space and
increase basic understanding of the combustion process. The SSCE is a
continuation of the combustion investigation efforts that were
performed last month by the STS-94 crew on the re-flight of the
Microgravity Sciences Laboratory mission.
- Davis and Robinson spent part of their day performing a checkout of
the Space Vision System (SVS). The SVS system involves a series of
dots strategically placed on various payload and vehicle structures
that payload bay cameras can see to create a graphic digital display
on a laptop computer. An astronaut operating the mechanical arm can
use that display for precise alignment and pointing with payloads
being moved in the cargo bay. The SVS system will be used during the
assembly of components of the future International Space Station.
- Also related to upcoming ISS activities was Tryggvason's continued
efforts with the Microgravity Vibration Isolation Mount, or MIM,
payload. The MIM payload uses magnets to levitate a platform and
protect sensitive microgravity processing experiments from vibrations
created by station operations.
- Robinson spent his afternoon with the setup and operation of a small
ultraviolet imaging telescope to view Comet Hale-Bopp. The Southwest
Ultraviolet Imaging System (SWUIS) telescope was mounted to the
orbiter's side hatch window. Over the course of two orbits, Robinson
used the telescope with different filters to gather data on what the
comet is made of and how it is responding to solar wind conditions.
As part of the SWUIS operations, the shuttle's robot arm was
strategically placed to provide shading of orbiter windows during the
telescope's observations. Three more pairs of observations are
planned during the flight.
- Curbeam continued his work with the Bioreactor Demonstration System
payload - a cell biology experiment which has flown previously on the
Shuttle. On this flight, Curbeam is using BDS to grow colon cancer
cells to a larger size than can be done on Earth. It is hoped that
future BDS experiments on the International Space Station will help
investigators learn how to stop the growth and kill these cells in the
- Periodic firings of the Shuttle's maneuvering jets were done today
to ensure Discovery stays within the desired distance range to the
CRISTA-SPAS satellite which was deployed on launch day. The satellite
is using three telescopes and four spectrometers to measure infrared
radiation emitted by the Earth's middle atmosphere. The data gathered
will help investigators from 15 countries to understand how
small-scale tracer."filaments" in the stratosphere contribute to
transport of ozone and chemical compounds that affect the distribution
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