STS-97 Day 4 Highlights
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- On Sunday, December 3, 2000, 8:00 a.m. CST, STS-97 MCC Status Report # 6
- ^ÓIt^Òs kind of like Christmas up here going through these
bags.^Ô With that comment, International Space Station Expedition 1
Commander Bill Shepherd indicated his happiness about the equipment,
supplies and care packages today that were dropped by Endeavour^Òs
astronauts following Saturday^Òs shuttle docking with the station.
- Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev
entered the Unity module for the first time since their arrival aboard
the station 33 days ago at 3:38 a.m. CST Sunday, and retrieved items
that were left in the docking compartment by Endeavour^Òs crew
after their 2 p.m. Saturday docking. The items included a new laptop
computer and headsets for the station^Òs two-way
videoteleconferencing system, a new hard drive for a Russian laptop,
large bags full of water, packaged Russian and fresh American food
items -- plus a special care package.
- Shepherd voiced special pleasure at receiving some fresh coffee and
a large pair of vice grip pliers. He announced that the Expedition 1
crew would be taking a coffee break as soon as it completed the
transfer of the items into the Russian living quarters and resealing
the hatch into the Unity module, and added that the new pliers should
come in handy for assembly and maintenance work.
- Although the Expedition 1 crew came within one hatch of its
colleagues ^Ö Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Mike Bloomfield and
Mission Specialists Marc Garneau, Carlos Noriega and Joe Tanner -- the
two crews will not greet each other face-to-face until Friday morning
following completion of three planned space walks to install and
activate the new 17-ton solar array tower.
- The first space walk by Tanner and Noriega is scheduled to begin
about 12:30 p.m. Sunday, but could start 45 minutes earlier if they
complete preparations ahead of schedule. Using the shuttle^Òs robot
arm, Garneau is scheduled to move the new solar array into position
above the Z1 truss structure of the Unity module about 10:21 a.m. CST,
and drive it home to its installation point about 1:06 p.m. Tanner and
Noriega will secure bolts on each of the four corners of the array
assembly before Garneau releases the arm^Òs grip. Bloomfield will
take over arm operations and maneuver Noriega around the array so he
can connect nine power, command and data cables. At the same time,
Tanner will release the two Solar Array Blanket Boxes, and then he and
Noriega will release the two Solar Array Wing launch restraints. The
two space walkers will put the blanket boxes into the ready to deploy
position, and free the folding mast before cleaning up and moving back
into the shuttle about 7:16 p.m.!
- Jett will send the command to deploy the ISS Solar Arrays at 5:11
p.m. CST. The Solar Array Photovoltaic Radiator is scheduled for its
deployment a little over 3 hours later at 8:36 p.m.
- With the International Space Station complex orbiting the Earth at
an altitude of 235 statute miles in fine fashion, the Endeavour crew
received a wake-up call at 7:36 a.m. CST. The Expedition 1 crew goes
to bed at 3:36 p.m. The next STS-97 status report will be issued
- On Sunday, December 3, 2000, 10:30 p.m. CST, STS-97 MCC Status Report # 7
- The International Space Station spread one of its wings Sunday night
as the first half of the P6 solar array was unfurled after Endeavour
astronauts installed the 17.5-ton P6 solar array structure.
- The structure housing the arrays and associated electronics was
mated to the station^Òs Z1 truss structure at 1:32 p.m. ^Ö about
an hour into the first of three planned spacewalks during the mission
by Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega. The spacewalk began at 12:35
p.m. Sunday and ended at 8:08 p.m., lasting 7 hours, 33 minutes. Thus
far, astronauts and cosmonauts have spent 77 hours, 7 minutes on 11
spacewalks for space station assembly.
- Using the shuttle^Òs robot arm, Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau
moved the P6 solar array structure into position above the Z1 truss
structure of the Unity module and drove it home to its installation
point about 1:32 p.m. Tanner and Noriega secured bolts on each of the
four corners of the array assembly before Garneau released it from the
- Pilot Mike Bloomfield took over arm operations and moved Noriega
around the array as he connected nine power, command and data
cables. At the same time, Tanner released the two solar array blanket
boxes. They put the blanket boxes into the ready to deploy position.
But computer commands to release the pins holding the blanket boxes
closed initially were not successful. Tanner and Noriega stood by in
case they were needed to release the pins manually.
- Soon afterward, the commands were repeated, the pins on the
starboard blanket boxes released and that solar wing was deployed.
However, one pin on the portside blanket box remained in the closed
position. After the spacewalk, Commander Brent Jett again sent
computer commands for the blanket box pins to close and then reopen,
and this time, a little after 8:20 p.m., indicators showed all the
pins had disengaged. Flight controllers will not deploy the port wing
tonight to allow time to understand whether the solar wing that has
deployed is properly tensioned. That wing was functioning well and
sending electrical power to the P6 structure's systems.
- There is no rush to deploy the port wing and flight controllers want
to fully understand the situation with the starboard wing before they
attempt to do so.
- "We did accomplish our No. 1 mission objective, which was to
deliver P6 to the International Space Station," said Bill Reeves,
lead shuttle flight director. And "We accomplished all the EVA
objectives." One of three Photovoltaic Radiator was deployed at
10:20 Sunday night before the crew began its planned sleep period at
about 11:30. The radiator will dissipate heat generated by on-board
- Endeavour and the space station are orbiting at an altitude of about
235 statute miles with systems aboard both spacecraft functioning
well. The Endeavour crew will have a day off Monday, while the space
station crew will be awakened about midnight to begin its
workday. Hatches allowing the two crews to meet face to face will not
be opened until Friday, the day after the last scheduled spacewalk of
the STS-97 mission.
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