STS-87 Day 8 Highlights
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- On Wednesday, November 26, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 14
- As they reach the one week mark in their 16-day flight, the STS-87
crew have shifted the focus of their efforts towards the variety of
science experiments flying on Mission STS-87.
- Mission Specialist Kulpana Chawla spent a large part of Flight Day
Seven working with several samples of materials in the glovebox
facility in Columbia's middeck designed to investigate the
characteristics of creating composite materials in weightlessness. The
experiment , called PEP, involves heating samples and then recording
the mixture as it resolidifies. It is hoped to provide scientists with
insight that could lead to new developments in composite materials on
Earth. Ukrainian Payload Specialist Leonid Kadenyuk will continue
studies of plant growth in space with the Collaborative Ukrainian
Experiment, spending much of his day harvesting and preserving soybean
seedlings for analysis after Columbia's return home.
- Winston Scott and Takao Doi finished stowing the tools and equipment
they used during their spacewalk and filled out questionnaires
designed to capture their early thoughts on the evaluations they
performed. The insights they provide will help engineers as they
finalize the designs of tools planned for use during assembly of the
International Space Station.
- Early this morning Doi received congratulations on his work and
mission in a special call to Columbia from Sadakazu Tanigaki, Minister
of Japan's Science and Technology Agency, and Tomifumi Godai, vice
president of the National Space Development Agency of Japan.
- Columbia remains in excellent condition with no mechanical
problems. The shuttle is in an orbit of 175 by 170 statute miles.
- On Wednesday, November 26, 1997, 8:00 p.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 15
- Columbia's crew began their second week in orbit today, continuing a
pace of varied experiments in the shuttle cabin and payload bay that
they will maintain for the next nine days in orbit.
- Although Thanksgiving will be a working holiday aboard the shuttle,
the astronauts do have canned turkey, cranberries and pumpkin pie on
their menus for dinner today, a meal that is scheduled for the early
morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, Houston time.
- On board today, Mission Specialist Kalpana Chawla will continue work
in the glovebox facility on Columbia's lower deck to study the
characteristics of creating composite materials in space. Called PEP,
experiment samples of composite materials are heated inside the
glovebox and recorded as they resolidify. Also on the middeck,
Ukrainian Payload Specialist Leonid Kadenyuk will continue studies of
plant growth in weightlessness as part of the Collaborative Ukrainian
Experiment. School students both in the U.S. and the Ukraine are also
participating in comparative plant growth studies on Earth. Kadenyuk
was honored with the wakeup music played to Columbia by Mission
Control this afternoon, the Ukrainian National Anthem.
- Commander Kevin Kregel performed a small engine firing Wednesday
evening to adjust Columbia's orbit, raising it by about 5 miles to an
orbit with a high point of 175 miles and a low point of 173 miles. The
adjustment was made to prepare for a three-day experiment sample run
in the remotely operated Advanced Automated Directional Solidification
Furnace in the cargo bay. The furnace will study the weightless
processing of metal alloys used to make infrared detectors and lasers.
- Kregel and Mission Specialists Winston Scott and Tokao Doi will take
time out from their duties to be interviewed by CNN at 4:36 a.m. CST
Thursday. Columbia remains in excellent condition with no mechanical
- The crew will go to sleep at 7:46 a.m. Thursday. The next mission
status report will be issued at 6 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 27.
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