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Saturday, November 29, 1997, 6:45 p.m. CST
STS-87 Mission Control Center Status Report # 21

As flight controllers and payload scientists continued to look at options for a possible redeployment of the Spartan solar science satellite next week, Columbia’s astronauts were awakened for their 11th flight day by the sounds of "California Dreamin’."

The song, by the Mammas and Pappas, was requested by the wife of Pilot Steve Lindsey, who was born in Arcadia, Calif., and considers Temple City, Calif., to be his hometown.

Several different options are being considered for the possible Spartan deploy and retrieval, and flight controllers are in the midst of evaluating the relative merits of those options. The amount of reaction control system propellant available for Spartan and other mission activities in each of the scenarios will be key factors when shuttle managers meet Monday to evaluate the situation. Retrieval likely would involve a second space walk with astronauts in the payload bay capturing and securing the satellite.

Today’s middeck experiments will continue to look at how plant growth and composite materials are affected by microgravity. The astronauts will use the Middeck Globebox Facility to process samples for the Particle Engulfment and Pushing by a Solid/Liquid Interface experiment. PEP is studying the formation of composite materials, attempting to accurately map the roles of gravity-induced convection and sedimentation in the process by removing the gravity from the equation.

The United States Microgravity Payload-4 experiments continue to operate in the payload bay. The MEPHISTO team will send electrical pulses through its bismuth and tin sample, freezing the atoms at the point where liquid meets solid and showing the evolution of the specimen’s shape. Another materials experiment, the Advanced Automated Directional Solidification Furnace, completed its 72-hour mercury-cadmium-telluride crystal growth period Saturday afternoon.

Payload specialist Leonid Kadenyuk continued to work with the Collaborative Ukrainian Experiment studying plant growth in weightlessness. Students in the U.S. and Ukraine plan to compare their ground-based experiment results with those recorded by Kadenyuk on orbit.

The next mission status report will be issued about 6 a.m. Sunday.


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