STS-99 Day 10 Highlights
Back to STS-99 Flight Day 09 Highlights:
- On Sunday, February 20, 2000, 6:00 a.m. CST, STS-99 MCC Status Report # 19
- Endeavour's astronauts are looking forward to using one more small
bonus in mapping operations time. They were given an additional 10
minutes, bringing the total to nine days, 18 hours and 10 minutes. The
additional minutes have been added to allow one more mapping pass
across Australia, rather than turning off the radar just as the
spacecraft approaches the nation's coastline.
- So far, the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission has imaged 44.7 million
square miles, or about 93.9 percent of the target area, at least
once. About 33.4 million square miles or 70.1 percent of the target
area has been imaged at least twice. The target area extends from 60
degrees north latitude to 56 degrees south latitude. That covers all
the Southern Hemisphere landmasses except Antarctica and Northern
Hemisphere land south of Hudson Bay and St. Petersburg, Russia. It is
home to about 95 percent of Earth's population.
- At the scheduled end of mapping operations, more than 99.9 percent of
the area will have been imaged at least once. More than 94.6 percent
of it will be covered at least twice, and almost half will be imaged
at least three times. All but about 80,000 square miles of targeted
land will have been covered. The areas that will not be covered are in
small, scattered segments, mostly in North America and most of them
already accurately mapped.
- Endeavour's radar, gathering data in 140-mile-wide swaths as the
spacecraft orbits at 17,500 miles per hour, images 40,000 square miles
each hour. Data from this mission will, after a year or more of
processing, produce the most accurate and most uniform global
topography maps ever made.
- EarthKAM, a digital camera mounted at an overhead window on
Endeavour's flight deck, has sent down about 2,200 images so far, and
the number is growing. On four previous shuttle flights, EarthKAM sent
down a total of 2,018 images.
- The camera takes pictures for middle school students working on
projects in Earth science, geography, space sciences and other
topics. Through the Internet, their schools' mission operations
centers are linked to the EarthKAM Mission Operations Center at the
University of California at San Diego, which sends up photo targets
and receives the images. Except for setup, initial camera pointing and
lens changes, no crew involvement is required for normal operations.
- On Saturday, Endeavour's crew carried out the seventh and final
trim burn and flycast maneuver of the flight. The maneuver keeps the
spacecraft at the proper altitude for mapping and is designed to
reduce the stresses on the mast and minimize the loads at the tip.
- Blue Team members, Pilot Dom Gorie and Mission Specialists Janice
Voss and Mamoru Mohri, are on duty and continue mapping
operations. Commander Kevin Kregel and Mission Specialists Gerhard
Thiele and Janet Kavandi, the Red Team, are sleeping. They are to be
awakened at 10:14 a.m. CST.
- Endeavour's systems continue to perform well as it orbits about 150
statute miles above the surface. The next status report will be issued
at 6 p.m. Sunday, or as mission events warrant.
- On Sunday, February 20, 2000, 6:30 p.m. CST, STS-99 MCC Status Report # 20
- Earth radar mapping continues smoothly on its last full day with
Endeavour's crew scheduled to wrap up operations early Monday morning
at 5:53 Central Time. As of noon today, 99 percent, or about 47
million square miles of the target area had been mapped once. More
than 87 percent of the target area - nearly 42 million square miles -
has been mapped twice.
- With another 10 minutes added to mapping operations, complete
mapping of Australia will be completed with Flinders Island on the
northeast corner of Tasmania being the final area mapped. Stowage of
the 200-foot-long mast is set to begin at 7:14 a.m. By 7:50 tomorrow
morning, the radar system and pallet should be deactivated.
- The additional 10 minutes of mapping brings the total imaging time
to nine days, 18 hours, 10 minutes, which equates to 99.96 percent of
the planned coverage area being mapped during the mission. The
coverage area extends from Hudson Bay in the north to the tip of South
America, an area equal to 47.6 million square miles. Only 80,000
square miles of the target area - about the size of West Virginia -
will remain unmapped by the end of mapping operations. However, the
majority of this unmapped area is in North America and already has
been accurately mapped.
- Images released today included Oahu, Hawaii; Miquelon Island and
St. Pierre Island, Newfoundland; Kamchatka, Russia; and
Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany (home of the German Aerospace Agency). Other
new images showed Katmandu, Nepal; Cotopaxi, Ecuador; and Baikal,
Russia. Data of volcanic sites around the world, such as Hawaii and
Kamchatka, will be useful for studying the history of volcanic
activity in dormant volcanoes, as well as for hazard preparedness in
active volcanic areas. Areas mapped today include Yellowstone National
Park; Mauna Loa, Hawaii; and Ayers Rock, Australia.
- Shuttle Radar Topography Mission program scientist Dr. Earnest Paylor
described the mission as "a magnificent accomplishment," noting that
equatorial regions of the Earth previously unmapped due to constant
cloud cover have been mapped by SRTM radar. Tom Hennig, SRTM program
manager for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, called the
success of the mission "absolutely wonderful."
- Tomorrow, Endeavour's crew turns its attention to returning home,
with landing scheduled for 3:52 Central Time Tuesday afternoon at the
Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Check out of the flight control
surfaces and orbiter thruster jets is scheduled to begin at
noon. After the orbiter systems checks are complete, the crew will
begin stowing the cabin for Tuesday's landing.
Go to STS-99 Flight Day 11 Highlights: