Six days into their flight, the STS-94 astronauts aboard Columbia continue their around-the-clock scientific effort to examine how various materials and liquids change and behave in the weightless environment of space.
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 Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL) experiments housed on board.
Commander Jim Halsell continued his status checks of experiments along with video documentation of experiments while Pilot Susan Still is monitoring and tending to orbiter systems. The two science members of the red team, Mission Specialist Don Thomas and Payload Specialist Greg Linteris are busy back in the pressurized spacelab module with MSL equipment and experiments. Thomas spent his morning working with the Large Isothermal Furnace, Quasi-Steady Acceleration Measurement and TEMPUS facilities. In the afternoon, Thomas also will be working with experiments in the Glovebox unit. Both the morning and afternoon of Linteris’day will be devoted to the Droplet Combustion Experiment and the Combustion Module.
Early into the start of Flight Day 7 activities, Mission Control informed the crew of the successful docking of the Progress resupply vehicle. The Progress spacecraft docked to the Mir station just before 1:00 a.m. CDT. "That’s great news" said Still upon hearing the news about events on the orbiting Russian facility.
During the remaining part of Flight Day 7, Halsell, Still and Linteris are each scheduled for a communication session using the Shuttle Amateur Radio (SAREX) unit as they take turns talking with students in schools in Texas, Georgia, and New Mexico.
Shortly before they turned in for their sleep period last evening, blue team crew members Mike Gernhardt and Payload Specialist Roger Crouch conducted an interview with NBC Nightside to discuss the progress of the flight and the importance of the experiments being flown in the Spacelab. They, along with their fellow blue team member, Payload Commander Janice Voss,– will be awakened just after 11 a.m. today to mark the start of the blue team’s Flight Day 7.
The red team will be going to bed shortly after 3 p.m. today. Following an eight-hour sleep period, and a brief handover with the blue team, they will once again assume responsibility for orbiter and science operations.
The next STS-94 status report will be issued about 6 p.m. this evening.
- end -