STS-87 Day 14 Highlights
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- On Tuesday, December 2, 1997, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 26
- Much of today's work aboard Columbia focused on completion of
hands-on sample processing in the microgravity glovebox facility and
preparing the spacesuits and tools that will be used for tomorrow's
bonus spacewalk by Winston Scott and Takao Doi.
- Yesterday's decision to add the spacewalk will give astronauts and
extravehicular activity designers more confidence in techniques which
will be important in the assembly of the International Space Station.
- The spacewalk is set to begin shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday and is
expected to last four and a half hours. The crane operations
conducted on the first spacewalk will be repeated substituting the
large simulated space station battery with a small tool-caddy
simulator. Another component of the second EVA will be checkout of a
free-flying video camera which will be used as a second point of view
to observe work outside the shuttle or station.
- The first spacewalk last week was modified to accommodate the
retrieval of the Spartan satellite.
- Glovebox operations wrapped up this morning with the final sample
being processed in the unique mini laboratory on Columbia's middeck.
Mission specialist Kalpana Chawla oversaw the operations with an
investigation into how to improve methods of solidifying composite
- Sample processing with several experiments on the United States
Microgravity Payload in the cargo bay of Columbia are continuing with
periodic orbiter attitude maneuvers being done to assist with data
- The crew took time out of today's schedule to discuss the mission
with reporters from the U.S., Japan and the Ukraine during the
traditional in-flight news conference.
- Before bedtime this morning, the crew will once again lower the
cabin atmosphere to 10.2 pounds per square inch to assist Scott and
Doi with conditioning for the second spacewalk. This allows for a
much reduced amount of time required to prebreathe pure oxygen prior
to beginning the spacewalk.
- On Tuesday, December 2, 1997, 6:00 p.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 27
- Columbia's six-member crew will be awakened at 7:46 p.m. CST this
evening to begin flight day 14 of the STS-87 mission and a busy day
involving the second space walk of this flight.
- Shortly after 2 a.m. CST, astronauts Winston Scott and Takao Doi
will exit Columbia's airlock for a four and a half-hour spacewalk
which will repeat part of the crane operations, handling the smaller
of the boxes which represent objects it will have to move during Space
Station assembly. STS-87 mission managers Monday afternoon decided to
add a second spacewalk to this mission, giving astronauts and EVA
designers more confidence in techniques which will be important to
assembly of the International Space Station. Crane operations will
consume the first two hours of the crew's timeline.
- Also during this EVA, engineers will test the AERCAM/SPRINT, a
free-flying video camera which is being developed as a tool for
surveying the outside of space structures such as the International
Space Station and as a second point of view during astronaut
spacewalks. SPRINT will be controlled by pilot Steve Lindsey via a
joystick on Columbia's aft flight deck during this test, but future
versions of the unit will have autonomous capability to fly to a
designated area and perform surveys.
- Wednesday morning's spacewalk will be only the second EVA from
Columbia, the oldest orbiter in the fleet. Columbia has been most
used as a carrier for Spacelab missions which have not required EVAs.
The first spacewalk from Columbia was Scott and Doi's venture outside
to capture the SPARTAN satellite last week.
- Since 9 a.m. CST Tuesday, Columbia's crew has been living in a
reduced cabin atmospheric pressure of 10.2 psi. This stepping down of
the pressure from the normal 14.7 psi during a 16-hour period before
the EVA reduces the pre-breathe time for Scott and Doi in their suits
to just one hour.
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