Columbia’s crew continues its around-the-clock scientific investigations, studying the behavior of flames and the growth of plant structures in microgravity.
With Columbia providing a stable platform for science activity, the seven-member crew has been able to devote its full attention to the more than 30 experiments housed on board. Commander Jim Halsell, Pilot Susan Still, Mission Specialist Don Thomas and Payload Specialist Greg Linteris – the mission’s Red team – performed status checks on the plant growth experiment and worked with investigations in both the Combustion Module and Large Isothermal Furnace. Thomas and Linteris also enjoyed four hours of off-duty time to ensure they remain well-rested throughout this planned 16-day mission.
Payload Commander Janice Voss, Mission Specialist Mike Gernhardt and Payload Specialist Roger Crouch – awoke just after 11 a.m. to mark the start of the Blue team’s Flight Day 6. Throughout the afternoon and evening, they will continue work with the Droplet Combustion Experiment which gathers information on the burning rates of flames and flame structures as they are extinguished, and the Laminar Soot Process experiment which may lead to ways to contain unwanted fires and limit deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Beginning at 11:42 tonight, Gernhardt and Crouch will conduct an interview with NBC Nightside to discuss the progress of the flight.
The Red team will awaken about 11 p.m., and shortly after 1 a.m. will once again assume responsibility for orbiter and science operations. The Blue team will go to sleep about 3 a.m. Monday.
Columbia’s systems continue to operate properly, providing a stable platform for microgravity science operations as the shuttle circles the Earth every 90 minutes.
The next STS-94 status report will be issued about 6 a.m. Monday.
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