As they reach the one week mark in their 16-day flight, the STS-87 crew have shifted the focus of their efforts towards the variety of science experiments flying on Mission STS-87.
Mission Specialist Kulpana Chawla spent a large part of Flight Day Seven working with several samples of materials in the glovebox facility in Columbia’s middeck designed to investigate the characteristics of creating composite materials in weightlessness. The experiment , called PEP, involves heating samples and then recording the mixture as it resolidifies. It is hoped to provide scientists with insight that could lead to new developments in composite materials on Earth. Ukrainian Payload Specialist Leonid Kadenyuk will continue studies of plant growth in space with the Collaborative Ukrainian Experiment, spending much of his day harvesting and preserving soybean seedlings for analysis after Columbia’s return home.
Winston Scott and Takao Doi finished stowing the tools and equipment they used during their spacewalk and filled out questionnaires designed to capture their early thoughts on the evaluations they performed. The insights they provide will help engineers as they finalize the designs of tools planned for use during assembly of the International Space Station.
Early this morning Doi received congratulations on his work and mission in a special call to Columbia from Sadakazu Tanigaki, Minister of Japan’s Science and Technology Agency, and Tomifumi Godai, vice president of the National Space Development Agency of Japan.
Columbia remains in excellent condition with no mechanical problems. The shuttle is in an orbit of 175 by 170 statute miles.
The next mission status report will be issued at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26.
- end -