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Tuesday, April 21, 1998, 6 a.m. CDT
STS-90 Mission Control Center Status Report # 8

A half day of science operations before enjoying some off duty time will be the plan of the day when Commander Rick Searfoss and his STS-90 crew are awakened later this morning to begin their fifth day in space.

Searfoss, Pilot Scott Altman along with Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan, Kay Hire and Dave Williams and the two Payload Specialists flying on Columbia -- Jay Buckey and Jim Pawelczyk -- will receive a wake up call from Mission Control at 6:59 a.m. Central.

Searfoss will begin his day with a check of the animal enclosure facilities being carried on the flight along with some Shuttle system housekeeping chores while Hire videotapes the aquarium unit being carried in the Spacelab and tends to the cell growth culture experiment known as the Bioreactor Demonstration System.

Altman, Linnehan, Williams, Buckey and Pawelczyk will all perform tests associated with the STS-90 Neurolab Vestibular Team’s efforts to gain insight into the balance organs in the ear and all the connections that system has to the eyes, brain, and muscles in adapting to the weightless condition in space and then readapts to the gravity environment found on Earth.

The crew’s afternoon period will be off duty time. Half day off periods are a normal part of long duration missions such as the two week plus Neurolab mission and are designed to allow the crew to stay well rested and operate at peak efficiency throughout the flight. They will begin a planned eight hour sleep period at 10:39 p.m.

The next STS-90 status report will be issued about 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday.


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