STS-87 Day 9 Highlights
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- On Thursday, November 27, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 16
- Columbia's six-member crew celebrated Thanksgiving with a special
meal while continuing work with the microgravity science
investigations in a special glovebox facility on the middeck.
- As the halfway point in the STS-87 mission approached, commander
Kevin Kregel, pilot Steve Lindsey, mission specialists Kalpana Chawla,
Winston Scott and Takao Doi, and Ukrainian payload specialist Leonid
Kadenyuk celebrated Thanksgiving with a meal of turkey, cranberries
pumpkin cookies and pecan pie. The meal was scheduled between 5 and 7
- Throughout the eighth flight day for the crew, investigations
continued in the microgravity glovebox studying the characteristics of
creating composite materials in space, and also understanding why
different components of certain alloys tend to separate during the
melting and freezing process. Potential applications of many of these
alloys include ball-bearing, electronic and semi-conductor materials.
- Also on the middeck, Kadenyuk continued his work with the plant
growth experiment called CUE for the Collaborative Ukrainian
Experiment. School students both in the U.S. and the Ukraine also are
participating in comparative plant growth studies here on Earth.
- The autonomous operations with the mission's prime payload continue
in the payload bay of Columbia with no interaction by the crew
required. Yesterday's small engine firing will maintain the proper
altitude for the next four days in support of the United States
Microgravity Payload experiments mounted on a support structure in the
rear of the orbiter's payload bay.
- Earlier this morning, Kregel, Scott and Doi discussed the mission
during an interview broadcast around the world on CNN International.
- Crew sleep is scheduled to begin just before eight this morning with
the wakeup call scheduled at 3:45 this afternoon.
- On Thursday, November 27, 1997, 8:00 p.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 17
- President Bill Clinton wished the six astronauts orbiting the Earth
aboard Columbia a happy Thanksgiving this evening, saluting them for
their sacrifice in working during the holiday and congratulating them
on Monday's retrieval of the Spartan satellite.
- "Your smiles made my day," the President said from Camp David, where
he was celebrating the holiday with his family.."I look forward to
seeing you back here on Earth."
- Clinton also congratulated Mission Specialists Winston Scott and
Takao Doi on their success with tools and techniques being designed
for use in building the International Space Station.
- "We'll keep supporting it, you keep doing your job and we'll see you
back here," Clinton said.
- Kregel and the crew wished the President and his family a happy
holiday, and reported that they felt great. ."Of course we miss our
families down on Earth, but the six of us up here are a family in
itself and we're enjoying this Thanksgiving Day also," Kregel said.
- The presidential call came as the crew as preparing to go on duty
for their ninth flight day, continuing work with the microgravity
science investigations in a special glovebox facility on the middeck.
- Mission Specialist Kalpana Chalwa began her day by activating the
Wetting Characteristics of Immiscibles experiment, and receive help
from Doi in conducting the experiment runs. Scientists hope to learn
how to better control the formation of special metal alloys by
studying the mixing process in microgravity. The alloys are important
for use in ball bearings, electronics and semiconductors. Previous
experiments have shown that these alloys, which contain components
that don't mix when the metals are in a liquid state, separate into
layers even when gravity is not present. WCI will investigate whether
droplet wetting along the container walls is the cause of this
- Scott and Doi are scheduled to fill out a questionnaire on how the
space walk went later today while the details are still fresh in their
- Scott also is scheduled to put on a special vest called the In-Suit
Doppler System that uses ultrasound to listen for microbubbles in the
bloodstream. The vest, destined to be worn on a future space walk, is
being checked for fit and comfort. Astronauts now lower the shuttle's
cabin pressure and pre-breathe pure oxygen before a space walk to
purge nitrogen bubbles from their bloodstreams and prevent
decompression sickness, or."the bends." Doctors would expect these
conditions to result in some instances of the bends on Earth, but so
far have seen none on orbit. They hope this vest will tell them why.
- Also on the middeck, Payload Specialist Leonid Kadenyuk will
continue his work with the plant growth experiment called CUE for the
Collaborative Ukrainian Experiment. School students both in the
U.S. and the Ukraine also are participating in comparative plant
growth studies here on Earth.
- Kregel and Kadenyuk are scheduled to receive a call from President
of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma in Kieve at 5:48 a.m. CST Friday.
- The STS-87 crew was awakened on Thanksgiving Day at 3:45 p.m. CST by
the sounds of."America the Beautiful" as sung by the U.S. Air Force
- The autonomous operations with the United States Microgravity
Payload-4 are continuing in the payload bay, and Columbia's systems
were all functioning well as it orbited 175 miles above the planet's
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