STS-99 Day 5 Highlights
Back to STS-99 Flight Day 04 Highlights:
- On Tuesday, February 15, 2000, 6:30 a.m. CST, STS-99 MCC Status Report # 9
- Endeavour astronauts had completed mapping well over half the targeted
Earth land surface by early Tuesday, and scientists continued to
express delight at the quality of information they were seeing.
- More than 20 percent of the targeted land had been mapped twice and
the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission had covered more than 6 percent
of it three times. The area surveyed at least once was equal to that
of Africa, North Ameica and Australia combined.
- Those totals were growing rapidly. Endeavour was gathering mapping
data on 40,000 square miles of land each minute. Scientists say the
mission already has tripled the world's pool of digital terrain
data with this much detail.
- Endeavour is gathering data four times faster than its advanced data
communications system can send it to Earth. "Quick look" data
sent down, with less detail than will be available from the
high-density tapes being filled aboard the orbiter, already has
revealed features not shown on even the best maps available today
- While Endeavour continued to gather data that will be the basis for
maps of unprecedented accuracy and uniformity, flight controllers were
troubleshooting the balky cold-gas jet on the outboard antenna
structure. The jet helps maintain the attitude of the mast, the
longest rigid structure ever deployed in space. The orbiter's
reaction control system jets are being used for that function. Flight
controllers are developing further procedures to conserve propellant.
- Blue Team members Pilot Dom Gorie and Mission Specialists JaniceVoss
and Mamoru Mohri sent down television early Tuesday. It showed Voss
using an inflatable globe to explain the SRTM mission, Mamoru Mohri,
taking photos out the commander's window, and then, with Pilot Dom
Gorie, changing a tape on a payload high rate recorder.
- Members of the red team, Commander Kevin Kregel, and Mission
Specialists Janet Kavandi and Gerhard Thiele, are in their sleep
period. They are scheduled to be awakened at 10:14 a.m. Central
- Endeavour's systems are functioning normally as it circles the
Earth at a speed of about 5 miles a second and an altitude of about
- On Tuesday, February 15, 2000, 6:30 p.m. CST, STS-99 MCC Status Report # 10
- New radar images of Brazil, South Africa and the South Island of New
Zealand were unveiled this afternoon by elated scientists of the
Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. "This snapshot of Earth will be
used for decades to come," said deputy project scientist Dr. Tom
- Mapping operations continued smoothly into the mission's fifth day,
with both radar and orbiter systems working flawlessly. By early
afternoon, more than 29 million square miles had been mapped,
representing more than 61 percent of the planned coverage for the
mission. That's equivalent to the combined area of North America,
South America and Africa.
- Flight controllers continue to troubleshoot a problem with a small
nitrogen thruster on the end of the 200-foot-long mast, and are
focusing on steps that can be implemented to conserve shuttle
propellant. Several steps already have been implemented, including
relaxing the requirements for maintaining the mast's attitude due
to the better-than-expected stability of the mast. Additional steps
are under review for their potential propellant-saving potential.
Optimism is increasing that these measures will enable Endeavour to
complete its planned mapping operations.
- Blue Team members Janice Voss and Mamoru Mohri spoke with reporters
from CNN, NBC's Today Show and KGO Radio in San Francisco earlier
today. Voss, Mohri and Dom Gorie ended their day early this afternoon,
and will be awakened to begin their sixth day on orbit at 10:14
tonight Central Time.
- The Red Team -- Kevin Kregel, Janet Kavandi and Gerhard Thiele --
was awakened shortly after 10 this morning and promptly resumed
mapping operations. This afternoon, Kregel and Kavandi answered
questions from students at the Kansas Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, KS;
Sitting Bull College in Ft. Yates, ND; and Houston High School in San
Antonio, TX. This event was part of a NASA effort to encourage
students to pursue careers in science, engineering and math.
- All of Endeavour's systems are functioning normally as it circles
the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of about 150 miles. The next
status report will be issued at 6 a.m. Wednesday, or as mission events
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