STS-88 Day 9 Highlights
Back to STS-88 Flight Day 08 Highlights:
- On Friday, December 11, 1998, 2:00 p.m. CST, STS-88 MCC Status Report # 18
- Endeavour's crew was awakened at 10:36 a.m. CST today to continue
their work of preparing the International Space Station for future
crews. "Trepak," a Russian dance from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"
ballet, was played as the wake-up music in honor of cosmonaut and
Mission Specialist Sergei Krikalev.
- Pilot Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialist Nancy Currie will
continue their work removing access panels inside Unity and unstowing
hardware that will be used by visiting astronauts on future assembly
- Commander Bob Cabana, Sturckow and Currie will work inside Unity to
locate part of a missing mid-bay rack pivot fitting, which was lost
yesterday. Following removal of launch restraint bolts, the lock ring
fell behind the panel during attempts to install it on the rack. The
pivot fitting will allow the entire equipment rack to be tilted
- After turning off the lights and ventilation system, Endeavour's
crew will close the hatch and leave Zarya for the final time just
before 4 p.m. Central time. Prior to closing the hatch, Endeavour's
life support systems will be used to increase the station and Shuttle
atmospheric pressure to 15 pounds per square inch, a little above sea
level pressure on Earth. Then, as each hatch is closed in the station,
the crew will lower the pressure slightly to keep positive air
pressure on the inside of each hatch to assist in sealing the
hatches. Dessicant bags will be installed in Unity's portable,
battery-operated fans to remove humidity from the module and the
portable fans will be left running. The crew's final exit from Unity
is set for just after 5:30 p.m. today.
- After they have completed exiting the station, Cabana and Sturckow
will lower the pressure inside Endeavour from 14.7 pounds per square
inch to 10.2 pounds per square inch in anticipation of tomorrow's
spacewalk. The lower air pressure will reduce the amount of time
Newman and Ross must spend breathing pure oxygen before beginning
their spacewalk on Saturday and going to the lower pressure of their
spacesuits, 4.3 pounds per square inch of pure oxygen.
- The oxygen pre-breathe protocol removes nitrogen from the
bloodstream to prevent a potentially dangerous malady commonly
referred to as the "bends," caused when nitrogen bubbles form in the
bloodstream. Newman and Ross also will pre-breathe pure oxygen from
masks for about an hour today during the depressurization of Endeavour
as part of the protocol.
- Later, Newman will complete a performance evaluation of the Orbiter
Space Vision System targets, part of an alignment aid for operations
with the Shuttle's mechanical arm. Endeavour's crew will be
interviewed by CNN and CBS News at 7:36 p.m. Central time.
- Preparations will get under way late this evening for tomorrow's
third and final spacewalk by Newman and Ross. With Sturckow's
assistance, they will prepare the tools they will use, then check out
the Simplified Aid for Extravehicular Activity Rescue (SAFER)
backpacks, which are a type of space "life jacket" that provides the
capability for spacewalking astronauts to fly back to the station
should they become untethered. During tomorrow's spacewalk, Ross will
check out a new valve on the unit, firing the backpack's jets while
remaining tethered to Endeavour.
- Endeavour and the International Space Station remain in excellent
- On Friday, December 11, 1998, 11:00 p.m. CST, STS-88 MCC Status Report # 19
- Endeavour's astronauts wrapped up the first visit inside the
International Space Station and prepared it for undocking, closing the
hatches for the final time to the new complex before it is left
- After spending the day unstowing final items and installing
air ducts for the Russian-built Zarya control module and the
U.S.-built Unity module, Commander Bob Cabana and Russian Cosmonaut
Sergei Krikalev closed the hatch to Zarya at 4:41 p.m. Central
time. They closed a series of additional hatches as the crew made its
way back to Endeavour, finally swinging the door to Unity shut at 6:26
p.m. This ended the first excursion by astronauts into the
international outpost, an excursion that lasted 28 hours and 32
- Left behind were tools, supplies and clothing for the crew that
will visit the station during the next shuttle assembly flight in May,
and for the first crew members who will establish a permanent
occupancy of the station in January 2000.
- Back inside Endeavour, the astronauts completed preparations for a
third and final space walk Saturday by Jerry Ross and Jim Newman to
tidy up cable configurations. Ross and Newman plan to disconnect
several jumper cables used to route power from Zarya to Unity before
permanent electrical connections were made and disconnect cables used
to permanently lock the two modules' docking mechanisms together. In
addition, tool bags will be stowed on the side of Unity's uppermost
Pressurized Mating Adapter for use by space walkers Tammy Jernigan and
Dan Barry on the STS-96 assembly mission in May.
- Near the end of Saturday's space walk, Ross plans to use a
grappling hook to try to free the second of two jammed antennas that
are part of Zarya's backup rendezvous system. Just as Newman did on
Wednesday, Ross will use the device to pry the balky antenna free to
its fully extended position while attached to the end of Endeavour's
- The space walk is scheduled to begin about 3:06 p.m. Central time
Saturday, but could get under way earlier if Ross and Newman are ahead
of schedule in their space walk preparations.
- With all of their work complete, Endeavour's crew members will
undock from the newly outfitted station at 2:25 p.m .Sunday, leaving
the 35-ton complex to fly on its own for the next five months. Through
an S-band communications system installed in Unity by the astronauts,
station flight controllers will be able to monitor the health of Unity
and Zarya as the complex orbits the Earth.
- The astronauts will begin an eight-hour sleep period at 2:36
a.m. Central time Saturday and will be awakened at 10:36 a.m. to begin
space walk preparations.
- Endeavour and the International Space Station are orbiting the
Earth at and altitude of 246 statute miles with all of their systems
in excellent shape.
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