Columbia’s astronauts were awakened at 5:29 a.m. Central time this morning to the sound of "Every Breath You Take" by the Police to begin their tenth day of research work in the Spacelab science module.
This will be a relatively light day of scientific activity on board Columbia. The science crew of Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan and Dave Williams, along with Payload Specialists Jay Buckey and Jim Pawelczyk, will continue investigations into how the human nervous system adapts to the weightlessness of space. All four will serve as subjects in a vestibular experiment that uses an on-board rotating chair. The Visual and Vestibular Integration System (VVIS) correlates eye movements with balance. Developed by the European Space Agency, the chair stimulates the human balance system with both spinning and tilting sensations. Infrared video cameras observe and capture the eye movements that accompany the exercise.
Shuttle Commander Rick Searfoss and Pilot Scott Altman will take turns operating the Portable In-Flight Landing Operations Trainer (PILOT), a laptop computer and joystick system that allows them to simulate approaches and landings to the Kennedy Space Center to maintain their piloting skills.
Mission Specialist Dave Williams will take time from his scientific work to chat with the British Broadcasting System’s Wales Network at 9:34 a.m. Central time The interview will focus on the progress of Williams’ research in this, his first flight in space. Williams is of Welsh ancestry.
About 2 p.m., the astronauts are scheduled to begin four hours of off-duty time to relax and enjoy the sights from orbit. They will begin their eight-hour sleep period at 9:09 tonight.
Columbia remains in a 153 x 133 nautical mile orbit, circling the Earth every 90 minutes. The shuttle’s prime carbon dioxide cleansing system, known as the Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System, or RCRS, is in perfect working order after being brought back on line late yesterday following the repair of a leaking valve.
The next STS-90 status report will be issued about 6 p.m. Sunday or as events warrant.
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