STS-86 Day 10 Highlights
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- On Saturday, October 4, 1997, 8:00 a.m. CDT, STS-86 MCC Status Report # 18
- On the 40th anniversary of the launching of the Sputnik satellite to
start the Space Age, Atlantis' astronauts are readying themselves and
their vehicle for a return trip to Earth, with landing scheduled for
5:59 p.m. central time Sunday.
- This morning, Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Mike Bloomfield and
Mission Specialist Scott Parazynski will perform the routine checks of
Atlantis' flight control systems and surfaces to ensure their vehicle
is ready to support landing operations. Wetherbee and Bloomfield also
will conduct a hot-fire test of the reaction control system jets.
- Most of the crew's day will be devoted to stowage activity as the
astronauts configure Atlantis for reentry. The astronauts will ensure
that all of the items transferred from Mir are properly secured in the
Spacehab module and also will begin the process of stowing much of the
hardware and equipment they have used over the past several days in
orbit. In addition, Parazynski and Mission Specialist Vladimir Titov
will put away the tools and the spacesuits they used during last
Wednesday's five-hour excursion outside the space station.
- Wetherbee and Mission Specialist Jean-Loup Chretien will take a
break from their activities today to talk with French reporters and
schoolchildren in Paris at 2:34 p.m. central time. At the conclusion
of that event, the entire STS-86 crew will talk with a four-member
team living in an air-tight chamber at the Johnson Space Center. That
team began a 90-day test of a regenerative life support system on
September 19th, using a combination of physical, mechanical and
biological methods to recycle their air and water.
- On Saturday, October 4, 1997, 8:00 p.m. CDT, STS-86 MCC Status Report # 19
- Atlantis is set to conclude its voyage in space at 5:59 p.m. Central
time Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center.in Florida, following this
morning's checkout of systems that will be used during reentry and
landing. Weather forecasters will be closely monitoring wind
conditions at KSC which are expected to be near the cross wind limit
at the Shuttle Landing Facility runway, but generally favorable
conditions are anticipated for both landing opportunities available to
KSC tomorrow. The backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base,
California is not being considered for a Sunday evening homecoming.
- Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Mike Bloomfield and Mission
Specialist Scott Parazynski spent the morning testing Atlantis' flight
control surfaces and thruster jets to ensure they are ready to support
the Shuttle's high speed return to Earth.
- A good part of the astronauts' final day on orbit was devoted to
stowing equipment and finishing experiment work in the SPACEHAB module
in the cargo bay. The crew will go to bed this evening at 10:34
p.m. Central time for an eight-hour sleep period which will end with a
wakeup call from Mission Control at 6:34 a.m. CDT.
- Earlier today Wetherbee and Mission Specialist Jean Loup Chretien
had an opportunity to talk with French news media and school children.
Following that conversation, all six crewmembers talked to four test
subjects in an advance life support test underway at Johnson Space
Center in Houston. The test team entered a closed chamber in Houston
September 19 and will remain sealed inside until late December
evaluating the effectiveness of regenerative life support systems that
could be used for extended space missions.
- Deorbit preparations will begin just before 1 p.m. CDT Sunday
followed a little less than 90 minutes later by closing of Atlantis'
payload bay doors at about 2:11 p.m. The astronauts are scheduled to
don their launch and entry suits shortly before 3 p.m. Entry Flight
Director Linda Ham is expected to poll the flight control team for the
final decision for the deorbit burn 20 minutes prior to the planned
firing of Atlantis' orbital maneuvering system engines at 4:52 p.m.
- In addition to all of the items being brought back from the Mir
Space Station, Atlantis is ferrying home astronaut Mike Foale, who is
returning to Earth after 134 days on the Mir. If Atlantis lands as
planned Sunday, Foale will have logged 144 days in space on this
flight, the second longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut
behind the record 188-day stay in orbit by Shannon Lucid last
year. Foale's replacement on the Mir, David Wolf, is continuing his
work with his two crewmates with the Russian orbiting facility.
- Atlantis continues to orbit the Earth every 90 minutes in excellent
condition at an altitude of about 230 statute miles.
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