STS-87 Day 15 Highlights
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- On Wednesday, December 3, 1997, 8:00 a.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 28
- A bonus excursion into the payload was conducted aboard Columbia
this morning to complete tasks originally planned for the mission's
first spacewalk. Prior to the spacewalk, the crew used the Spartan
satellite, remaining securely attached to Columbia's mechanical arm,
as a laser target to prepare for future automatic spacecraft dockings.
- Winston Scott and Takao Doi switched their suits to battery power at
3:09 this morning signalling the start of their second spacewalk ,
planned to once again test a manual crane that will eventually make
its way to the International Space Station. The crane is designed to
help in moving components and tools more easily around the outside of
the station. The two astronauts also watched as pilot Steve Lindsey
remotely piloted a unique, beachball-sized camera around the payload
bay to demonstrate its usefulness in providing an extra set of
'eyes' to perform remote inspections of the shuttle or station.
- The four-hour, fifty-nine-minute, forty-second spacewalk ended at
8:09 a.m. this morning. Combined with the first spacewalk duration of
7 hours, 43 minutes, Scott and Doi completed 12 hours and 44 minutes
outside Columbia's crew cabin during the mission.
- The spacewalk included repeating part of the crane operations, but
instead of the large simulated battery for the station, the astronauts
worked with a smaller orbital replacement unit simulator which
represents small objects it will have to move during station assembly.
- The tests of the Aercam Sprint, the free-flying video camera, were
controlled by Lindsey via a joystick on Columbia's aft flight deck
during the spacewalk. Future versions of the unit will have an
autonomous capability to fly to a designated area and perform surveys.
- This mission's two spacewalks are the first EVAs ever performed from
Columbia, which has been mostly used as a carrier for Spacelab
missions that have not included spacewalks. The next status report
will be issued later today.
- On Wednesday, December 3, 1997, 6:00 p.m. CST, STS-87 MCC Status Report # 29
- Columbia's astronauts will wake at 7:46 p.m. CST Wednesday night to
begin their final full day in orbit, making the preparations to assure
Columbia is ready for entry and landing.
- At about 10:45 p.m. CST tonight, the crew will begin stowing the
equipment used in the missions two space walks. The EVA tools and
space suit components will be put away while final health checks are
performed on some of the USMP experiment hardware.
- Commander Kevin Kregel and Pilot Steve Lindsey will spend a good
part of their day checking out the important space craft systems that
are needed to support entry. At about 3:45 a.m. CST, the commander and
pilot will begin the normal 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 5 a.m. followed by a test of
the communications system.
- The Ku-band antenna which provides high data rate relay and
television will be stowed at approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
- The flight control teams in Mission Control also are working toward
Fridays landing at Kennedy Space Center. Florida, now set for
6:21a.m. CST. Currently there are no significant weather concerns for
landing. Landing time may be adjusted slightly after the effects of
experiment maneuvers today are calculated.
- In the previous crew day, astronauts Winston Scott and Takao Doi
completed a four-hour, fifty-nine-minute, forty-second spacewalk which
ended at 8:09 a.m. this morning. Combined with the first spacewalk
duration of 7 hours, 43 minutes, Scott and Doi completed 12 hours and
44 minutes outside Columbias crew cabin during the mission.
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