Columbia’s astronauts continued their steady pace of scientific investigation today, with mission commander Jim Halsell expressing his satisfaction with their efforts at the end of red team’s day, telling flight controllers to "chalk up another one for STS-94."
The red team, Halsell, Susan Still, Don Thomas and Greg Linteris, successfully completed an in-flight maintenance activity begun overnight by the blue team, to troubleshoot a problem with a television camera on the TEMPUS electromagnetic levitation experiment. Still used a screwdriver and hammer to loosen three bolts that would not rotate during the initial effort. With that complete, the astronauts removed a panel to gain access to wiring to recover the use of the overhead camera.
The red team’s work today focused on droplet combustion experiments housed in the Middeck Glovebox and Droplet Combustion facilities.
Following a handover between teams at about 1:30 p.m. central time today, the blue team of Janice Voss, Mike Gernhardt and Roger Crouch once again assumed responsibility for the Microgravity Science Laboratory investigations. Crouch will continue work with experiments in the Middeck Glovebox, while Gernhardt conducts experiment and facilities status checks. Voss, who was scheduled to support Droplet Combustion Experiments (DCE) during the first portion of her day, will have some time off. The DCE investigation has been using fuel at a slightly higher rate than expected and investigators are currently determining priorities for the investigation for the remainder of the flight. Voss may receive additional science duties during that free time as requirements dictate.
In addition to their science duties today, Gernhardt and Crouch will take time this evening to talk with affiliates of CONUS Communications located in Cleveland, Ohio; Roanoke, Virginia; and Atlanta, Georgia. That interview will take place shortly after 7:30 p.m. central time.
The next MCC status report will be issued about 6 a.m. Saturday.
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