The astronauts and cosmonauts on board the Endeavour/Mir complex are now in their final full day of docked operations, wrapping up the transfer of equipment and supplies between the two spacecraft.
The crews have already transferred about 240 items with a total mass of more than three and half tons between the shuttle and Mir, and they have completed more than 80 percent of the planned moves. The crew will take a break from their work at 1:34 p.m. CST today to participate in a press conference, fielding questions from reporters at NASA centers across the U.S. and in Moscow, Russia.
Immediately following the press conference, the Endeavour crew will say a formal farewell to astronaut Andy Thomas, embarking on the final stay by a U.S. astronaut aboard the Mir, and cosmonauts Anatoly Solovyev and Pavel Vinagradov. At about 4:18 p.m.CST, the crews will close the hatches between the spacecraft for the final time. Both the Mir and Endeavour hatches will be closed for the fnal time at that point, before the crew goes to sleep this evening, as has been the normal procedure for previous Shuttle-Mir flights. An earlier plan that had been discussed to leave the shuttle’s hatch to the Mir docking module open longer to allow for last-minute transfers was deemed unnecessary by flight controllers.
The STS-89 crew was awakened at 4:48 a.m. CST today to the song "Hideaway" performed by Stanley Clarke, a favorite tune of astronaut Michael Anderson. The crew will begin an eight-hour sleep period at 8:48 p.m. CST and will receive a wake-up call from Mission Control at 4:48 a.m. on Thursday to begin activities to undock from the Mir.
Endeavour, carrying home astronaut David Wolf after four months spent aboard the Mir, is scheduled to undock from the Russian station at 10:56 a.m. CST Thursday.
The next STS-89 status report will be issued approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday.
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