STS-95 Day 9 Highlights
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- On Friday, November 6, 1998, 5:00 a.m. CST, STS-95 MCC Status Report # 17
- Discovery's astronauts were awakened at 3:40 a.m. Central time this
morning to begin their final full day in orbit and make preparations
to assure that Discovery is ready for entry and landing. Today's
wake-up song was "Voyage into Space," an original composition written
for John Glenn by composer and pianist Peter Nero, a long-time friend
of the Glenns.
- Commander Curt Brown and Pilot Steve Lindsey will spend a good part
of their day checking out important spacecraft systems for entry and
landing. At about 7:20 a.m. Central time, the commander and pilot
will begin the flight control system checkout, powering up one
auxiliary power unit and evaluating the performance of aerodynamic
surfaces and flight controls. The flight crew will perform a reaction
control system hot fire about 8:30 a.m., followed by a test of the
- At about 12:30 p.m. Central time, the crew will begin stowing the
equipment used to conduct the mission's array of on-board science
activities. Just before turning in for the night, Lindsey will stow
the Ku-band antenna, which provides high data-rate relay and
- The flight control teams in the Mission Control Center are also
preparing for Saturday's landing at Kennedy Space Center.
Florida. Preliminary weather forecasts indicate generally favorable
weather to support Saturday's landing at 11:06 a.m. Central
time. Remnants of tropical storm Mitch have passed through the area
and moved off Florida's east coast.
- Discovery is orbiting the Earth every 95 minutes at an altitude of
about 341 statute miles with all systems operating well.
- The next STS-95 status report will be issued at approximately 6
p.m. Central time Friday.
- On Friday, November 6, 1998, 6:00 p.m. CST, STS-95 MCC Status Report # 18
- Discovery's seven-member crew Friday packed up and prepared for
the trip home Saturday with a landing planned for mid-day at the
Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- If weather and spacecraft systems cooperate, Discovery will touch
down at KSC at 11:04 a.m. Central time after having flown 134 orbits
of the Earth. Deorbit ignition of the shuttle orbiter's
maneuvering engines will occur at 9:53 a.m. CST to slow the
spacecraft's forward velocity allowing it to drop back into the
Earth's atmosphere. Returning as an unpowered hypersonic glider,
Discovery will follow a ground track taking it across Texas and
Louisiana before it sweeps out over the Gulf of Mexico and into
- Weather was predicted to be marginal, near the acceptable limits for
crosswind and with scattered to broken clouds.
- There are two landing opportunities to KSC Saturday and two to
Edwards Air Force Base, California. Discovery has a second chance to
land at KSC at 12:45 p.m. CST or could land at Edwards at either 12:35
p.m. or 2:17 p.m. Weather at Edwards was predicted to be good on
Saturday but unacceptable on Sunday. KSC weather will be marginal
both days. Earlier Friday, entry Capcom Susan Still told Discovery
Commander Curt Brown that the plan would be to try both opportunities
into KSC before considering the Edwards landing.
- If Discovery lands Saturday, the seven astronauts will spend the
night at the landing site before returning to Houston mid-day on
Sunday to a welcome at Ellington Field.
- Earlier today, Commander Curt Brown and Pilot Steve Lindsey spent a
good part of their day checking out important spacecraft systems for
entry and landing. One of the three auxiliary power units was turned
on to provide hydraulic power for a test of the orbiter's
aerodynamic surfaces. The reaction control jets were test fired and
the shuttle's communications equipment tested. One of the RCS jets
leaked during testing and was isolated. It will have no effect on
entry and landing.
- At the end of the crew day, the Ku-band antenna which provides
television and high-rate data relay was stowed for the duration of the
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