A brisk pace of scientific investigation is continuing on board Columbia as the STS-94 mission enters the second half of its planned 16-day stay on orbit.
The official halfway point of the Microgravity Science Laboratory mission occurred just before 9:30 a.m. central time today, at 7 days, 20 hours and 26 minutes into the flight. The seven-member crew continues its around-the-clock science support studying how various materials and liquids change and behave in the weightless environment of space.
Throughout the morning the Red team astronauts, Jim Halsell, Susan Still, Don Thomas and Greg Linteris, supported investigations in the Large Isothermal Furnace, Middeck Glovebox and other facilities in the Spacelab module.
This morning, Still talked with two television stations in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. In interviews with WRDW-TV and WJBF-TV, she and Halsell discussed the progress of their mission to date and the day-to-day housekeeping tasks performed on board.
This afternoon at the request of the flight control team, Halsell toggled a power supply switch for one of Columbia’s aerosurface servo-actuators (ASA’s) that control various aerodynamic surfaces, including the rudder and elevons. There are four ASA’s on board, each with redundant power supplies. The flight control team noticed that ASA 4 had lost redundancy in one of its two power sources and requested Halsell to perform the power cycle which restored full redundancy and cleared the problem. The loss of one of the two power supplies to ASA 4 would not have had any impact on the mission.
The Red team began an eight-hour sleep period shortly after 3 p.m. central time.
The Blue team of crew members, Payload Commander Janice Voss, Mission Specialist Mike Gernhardt and Payload Specialist Roger Crouch, assumed responsibility for orbiter and science operations shortly after 1 p.m. central time. Voss and Crouch will continue work with investigations in the Large Isothermal Furnace and Combustion Module. Crouch is scheduled for about an hour and one-half of off-duty time early in his day.
Columbia continues a virtually trouble-free and stable platform for the ongoing investigations.
The next STS-94 status report will be issued at about 6 a.m. central time Thursday.
- end -