Endeavour’s astronauts spent much of today preparing for Saturday’s docking with the Mir space station and their first face-to-face meeting with astronaut Dave Wolf, who has called the Mir home for the past four months.
Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the Mir at 2:14 p.m. central time tomorrow, marking the eighth meeting between the Shuttle and Mir, and the first by Endeavour. All previous docking missions were accomplished with the Shuttle Atlantis.
In preparation for tomorrow’s rendezvous and docking, the astronauts began assembling the checklists, cameras and other tools they will use throughout the docking and installed the centerline camera in the Orbiter Docking System. The centerline camera will provide views of docking targets and the docking module during the final phase of the rendezvous activities.
Shortly before noon Saturday, from a position about eight miles behind Mir, Commander Terry Wilcutt and Pilot Joe Edwards will fire Endeavour’s engines in a terminal initiation burn to put Endeavour in position to intercept the orbiting station. The current schedule shows Endeavour arriving 600 feet below the Mir Space Station about 1:20 p.m. central time. Over the course of the next two hours, Wilcutt and Edwards will slowly maneuver Endeavour into position to dock with Mir just after 2 p.m. central time. Hatch opening between the two spacecraft is scheduled for about 3:50 p.m., but could take place as much as a half-hour earlier.
Endeavour’s crew will begin an eight-hour sleep period just before midnight, waking up at 8:48 a.m. central time tomorrow to begin in earnest their rendezvous activities.
Endeavour is currently in a 196 by 163 nm orbit, circling the Earth once every 91 minutes.
The next STS-89 status report will be issued at 6 a.m. central time Saturday.
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