Science activities are continuing on board Columbia as the seven-member crew supports a steady pace of investigations focusing on flames, combustion, and plant growth on orbit.
After a brief handover with their red team counterparts about 1 p.m. central time today, the blue team astronauts – Payload Commander Janice Voss, Mission Specialist Mike Gernhardt and Payload Specialist Roger Crouch – assumed responsibility for the management of science and orbiter operations.
Throughout the afternoon and evening hours, Voss and Crouch will support investigations in the Combustion Module and Glovebox facilities, while Gernhardt monitors orbiter systems and conducts video documentation of Spacelab operations. Late in the red team’s day, Gernhardt and Crouch will take time out from their investigations for an interview with the CBS program "Up to the Minute." That interview is expected to occur about 12:15 a.m. central time Friday.
Before relinquishing responsibility to the blue team, the four-member red team of astronauts completed another day of scientific investigation. Mission Specialist Don Thomas and Payload Specialist Greg Linteris both enjoyed some scheduled off-duty hours this morning, to ensure they remain well rested during this planned 16-day mission. Thomas took a few minutes this afternoon to talk with students who gathered at the Great Lakes Science Center in Thomas’ hometown of Cleveland. Thomas answered questions about his preparations for the STS-94 mission, the science he is conducting on board, and his Ohio roots.
The red team astronauts -- Commander Jim Halsell, Pilot Susan Still, Thomas and Linteris -- will be awakened just after 11 p.m. today to start their next day of orbiter and science operations.
Columbia is continuing to fly virtually trouble-free, providing a stable platform for science operations. The next STS-94 status report will be issued at about 6 a.m. central time Friday.
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