Discovery's astronauts will spend their first full day in space supporting wide-ranging activities, from releasing a small communications satellite to studying the behavior of materials at an atomic level.
Commander Curt Brown, Pilot Steve Lindsey and Mission Specialist Scott Parazynski will release PANSAT, the Petite Amateur Naval Satellite, early this afternoon. PANSAT is a small non-retrievable satellite developed by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. PANSAT will use innovative technology to capture and transmit radio signals that normally would be lost because the original signals were too weak or contained too much interference.
Mission Specialists Steve Robinson and Parazynski will check out Discovery’s 50-foot long robot arm today to verify its health prior to Sunday’s scheduled deployment of the SPARTAN solar science spacecraft for two days of free flight. During the checkout, they will survey the payload bay and conduct a routine examination of the exterior of the Shuttle.
European Space Agency Mission Specialist Pedro Duque and Japanese Space Agency Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai will prepare a glovebox device in the middeck area of Discovery, an enclosed research facility that will support numerous science investigations throughout the mission. The glovebox is a microwave sized device that provides the astronauts the ability to perform hands-on experiments in a controlled environment. Early this afternoon, Payload Specialist John Glenn, will activate the Microgravity Encapsulation Process experiment (MEPS). The experiment will study the formation of capsules containing two kinds of anti-tumor drugs that could be delivered directly to solid tumors with applications for future chemotherapy treatments and the pharmaceutical industry.
In addition, regularly scheduled exercise sessions and routine housekeeping chores also will occupy the crew’s day. Later today, the astronauts will conduct a 15-minute repair of a leaky hose which is used to remove iodine from the Shuttle’s galley water system. The repair is expected to be conducted by Lindsey and Parazynski.
Discovery is orbiting at an altitude of 349 statute miles by 340 statute miles, circling the Earth once every one hour, 35 minutes and 54 seconds.
The next status report STS-95 status report will be issued at approximately 6 p.m. Central time.
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