The seven astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour were awakened at 4:48 a.m. today to begin their third full day of joint docked operations with the Russian Mir space station. The song "Clap for the Wolfman" by Burton Cummings brought an end to a relatively uninterrupted sleep period for the crew. More resupply and experiment equipment transfers lay ahead for the astronauts and cosmonauts who have now passed the halfway point in their resupply work. By the end of flight day 5, 60 percent of all planned transfers had been completed including just over 1,000 pounds of water manufactured by Endeavour’s fuel cells.
Coming up late Tuesday morning is an interview with Cable News Network and Russian news media. That event is scheduled to start at 11:48 a.m. CST Tuesday.
Yesterday marked the successful resolution of a couple of problems which had come up unexpectedly on Sunday. A software change was sent to Endeavour’s computers Monday to overcome a faulty sensor which monitors the condition of one of the orbiter’s attitude control thrusters. That thruster sensor late Sunday had caused Shuttle flight controllers to temporarily pass attitude control of the Shuttle-Mir stack to the Russian station. When Mir thruster propellant ran low, control was passed back to Endeavour. All of this activity consumed some of the crew’s sleep time, which was extended by Mission Control.
Also Monday, Mir 24 crewmember Andy Thomas, with the aid of his Mir commander Anatoly Solovyev, successfully modified the Soyuz Sokol spacesuit he carried to orbit, improving the fit. Initially, Thomas had been unable to seal the suit which appeared too small for him. Thomas detached straps which lengthened the suit sufficiently to allow a comfortable fit under both pressurized and non-pressurized conditions. He would wear the suit only in the event he were to return to Earth on board a Soyuz spacecraft.
Endeavour and Mir will remain docked until just before 11 a.m. Thursday.
The next STS-89 status report will be issued Tuesday evening at approximately 6 p.m. Central time.
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