STS-98 Day 3 Highlights
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- On Friday, February 9, 2001, 5:00 a.m. CST, STS-98 MCC Status Report # 4
- Space Shuttle Atlantis and its five astronauts continue to close in
on the International Space Station (ISS), where three other
spacefarers await their arrival late this morning and the delivery of
a new addition to their home.
- With the U.S. Destiny laboratory module in its cargo hold, Atlantis
was only 230 statute miles from the Station at the time Atlantis'
astronauts were awakened just after 4 a.m. Central time to the sounds
of "Who Let the Dogs Out", played in honor of Commander Ken Cockrell,
who previously flew on a Shuttle mission with astronauts dubbed the
- Shortly after 6 this morning, Cockrell and Pilot Mark Polansky will
move into their final rendezvous procedures, with a final critical
engine firing of Atlantis' jets planned for 8:24 a.m. with the Shuttle
only 9 miles behind the Station. Cockrell will take over manual
control of Atlantis' approach about 9:45 a.m., when the Shuttle
arrives about 1000 feet below the ISS. With the help of Polansky and
Mission Specialists Marsha Ivins, Tom Jones and Robert Curbeam,
Cockrell will inch Atlantis toward the downward-facing docking port on
the Station's Unity module.
- Atlantis is scheduled to link up with the international outpost at
10:50 a.m. Central time as the two craft fly over the Western Pacific
northeast of New Guinea. About ninety minutes later, hatches will
swing open between Atlantis and the ISS, enabling the two crews to
greet each other and transfer critical gear before they are closed
again late today in preparation for the first of three planned
spacewalks tomorrow by Jones and Curbeam to help in the installation
and hookup of Destiny on the Station. Expedition One Commander Bill
Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev were
awakened a short time after Atlantis' crew, to finish tidying up their
home prior to Atlantis' arrival. Now in their 101st day in orbit and
their 99th day aboard the Station, the Expedition One crewmembers will
videotape Atlantis' arrival and assist Atlantis' astronauts in the
transfer of the initial cache of items for the remainder of their
four-month stay on orbit. Atlantis' astronauts are delivering water,
supplies, family gifts and DVD movies to Shepherd, Gidzenko and
Krikalev for entertainment on the weekends.
- Atlantis is currently orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 238
statute miles, completing an orbit around the Earth every 90
minutes. All of its systems are functioning in excellent shape.
- A post-docking Mission Status Briefing will be held at 3
p.m. Central time this afternoon on NASA Television.
- On Friday, February 9, 2001, 7:00 p.m. CST, STS-98 MCC Status Report # 5
- Sailing at 17,000 miles per hour 200 miles above the Pacific,
Commander Ken Cockrell flawlessly pulled the Space Shuttle Atlantis
alongside the International Space Station this morning and docked, in
position to add the new Destiny laboratory to the complex tomorrow and
begin a new era in space research.
- Atlantis docked to the station on schedule at 10:51 a.m. Central,
and the station and shuttle crews opened hatches between the
spacecraft at 1:03 p.m., promptly beginning to unload supplies. The
three-member station crew of Commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri
Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev, on the eve of their
100th day aboard the outpost, greeted their first visitors in almost
two months. The hatches were open for about four hours before they
were closed in preparation for the first of three upcoming spacewalks,
a six-hour sojourn tomorrow from Atlantis by astronauts Bob Curbeam
and Tom Jones.
- While the hatches were open, the crews transferred from the shuttle
to the station three 12-gallon bags of water; a spare computer for the
station's Zvezda living quarters; several cables to be installed
inside the station to power up Destiny after it is attached; and a
variety of personal items for the station crew, including gifts from
family and friends, fresh food, and movies. The hatches will be opened
and closed twice more during the mission as the two crews work
together to hook up and activate the new lab.
- After the hatches were closed today, the air pressure aboard
Atlantis was reduced slightly to prepare for tomorrow's spacewalk,
part of a protocol that purges nitrogen from the bodies of
spacewalkers to prevent decompression sickness as they go to the
low-pressure environment of spacesuits. With the hatches closed, the
shuttle crew discovered that three connectors which are planned to be
installed on the lab's exterior during tomorrow's spacewalk were
inadvertently left aboard the station. The two crews then used the
station's docking compartment as a type of airlock to transfer the
connectors back to Atlantis, a procedure that was performed twice
during the last shuttle flight, STS-97 in December 2000, as a method
of transferring equipment between the two spacecraft despite differing
cabin pressures. The station and shuttle crews will go to sleep at
8:13 p.m. today. The shuttle crew will awaken at 4:13 a.m. Saturday
and the station crew will awaken a half-hour later.
- Saturday's work to install and activate the Destiny laboratory will
begin with Curbeam and Jones donning their spacesuits at about 6:13
a.m. At 7:28 a.m., Astronaut Marsha Ivins will power up Atlantis'
robotic arm, using it to latch onto a station docking adapter and
relocate it, making way for Destiny. Curbeam and Jones are planned to
exit Atlantis' cabin at 9:18 a.m. to begin their spacewalk, spending
six hours assisting with the attachment of Destiny. At 10:48 a.m.,
Ivins will use the arm to lift the Destiny lab from the shuttle cargo
bay. At 12:38 p.m., the lab is planned to be latched permanently in
place to the station. Jones and Curbeam are planned to conclude the
spacewalk at about 3:48 p.m., and the hatches between the station and
shuttle are to be opened again at 4:28 p.m. Saturday.
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