STS-91 Day 3 Highlights
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- On Thursday, June 4, 1998, 5:00 a.m. CDT, STS-91 MCC Status Report # 4
- The six astronauts on board Discovery are preparing for today's
docking with the Mir Space Station and a reunion with U.S. Astronaut
Andy Thomas, who is about to conclude his more-than-four-month mission
to the Russian outpost. If Discovery returns to Earth as scheduled on
June 12, Thomas will have spent 141 days in space, 130 of them as a
Mir crew member.
- The STS-91 crew - Commander Charlie Precourt, Pilot Dom Gorie, and
Mission Specialists Franklin Chang-Diaz, Wendy Lawrence, Janet Kavandi
and Valery Ryumin, were awakened at 4:06 a.m. Central time, to the
sound of "Come And Go With Me" by the Del Vikings, in honor of their
retrieval of Thomas later today. The astronauts will be powering up
and installing many of the rendezvous tools they will use later today
during the final phase of their approach to Mir. Ryumin and Mir
Commander Talgat Musabayev will use VHF radio systems to communicate
with each other during the rendezvous activities.
- This morning, Precourt and Gorie will conduct another in a series of
engine firings designed to refine Discovery's approach to Mir. Around
8:34 a.m. central time, they will perform a maneuver to place
Discovery on an intercepting course to Mir. When the shuttle is 170
feet from the Mir, Discovery will stop for a 60-minute stationkeeping
period, resuming its final approach to Mir at 11:26 a.m. CDT.
- With his crew mates providing range rate and closure data obtained
from a variety of tools on board, Precourt will manually fly Discovery
up toward Mir with contact and capture between the two vehicles
expected about 11:58 a.m., the final linkup between an American
shuttle and the Russian space complex. About an hour and a half
later, at 1:41 p.m. Central time, the hatches between the two
vehicles should swing open, allowing Precourt and Musabayev to greet
each other. Thomas will officially end his tenure as a Mir crewmember
at that point, beginning four days of docked operations between the
- On Thursday, June 4, 1998, 6:00 p.m. CDT, STS-91 MCC Status Report # 5
- For the ninth and final time, an American space shuttle successfully
docked to the Russian Space Station Mir today, beginning four days of
docked operations between astronauts and cosmonauts to close out the
Phase One Shuttle-Mir program.
- Commander Charlie Precourt guided Discovery to a textbook docking
with Mir at 11:58 a.m. Central time, as the two spacecraft sailed over
the Russian-Kazak border northwest of the Caspian Sea. Within minutes,
the two ships were firmly mated together.
- A little more than an hour and a half later, at 1:34 p.m. Central
time, the hatches between Discovery and Mir swung open and Precourt
exchanged handshakes and embraces with Mir 25 Commander Talgat
Musabayev. Waiting nearby was U.S. Astronaut Andy Thomas, who
officially became a member of Discovery's crew at the moment of hatch
opening. Thomas completed 130 days as an occupant of Mir, wrapping up
a total of 907 days spent by seven U.S. astronauts aboard the Russian
complex as long duration crew members
- Following a welcoming ceremony and gift exchange ceremony, the two
crews conducted joint safety briefings and began transfer operations
between the two vehicles before the nine members of the Discovery-Mir
complex enjoyed a meal together.
- Discovery's crew will begin an eight hour sleep period at 7:06
p.m. and be awakened at 3:06 a.m. on Friday to begin the first full
day of joint docked operations.
- The Discovery-Mir complex is in a 208 x 196 n.m. orbit circling the
Earth every 91 minutes.
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