More than one week into the STS-94 mission, the seven crewmembers aboard Columbia are continuing their around-the-clock science investigations in the Spacelab module, focusing on how various materials and liquids change and behave in a microgravity environment.
After a brief handover with their blue team counterparts just after midnight, the red team members -- Commander Jim Halsell, Pilot Susan Still, Mission Specialist Don Thomas and Payload Specialist Greg Linteris -- took over responsibility for the management of science operations aboard the Shuttle.
About the same time as the red team began their Flight Day 10 activities, NASA astronaut Michael Foale, aboard the Russian Mir space station, received a phone call from NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin. During their conversation, Foale talked about the activities he and his two cosmonaut crewmates have been engaged in since a Progress vehicle collided with the Spektr science module last month. Foale showed some of the hardware that will be used later this month, during an intervehicular spacewalk, to restore power connections to the 3 undamaged Spektr solar arrays.
Aboard Columbia, Halsell continued with his status checks and video documentation on some of the Microgravity Science Laboratory (MSL) experiments while Still monitored various orbiter systems. The two science members of the red team, Thomas and Linteris, continued their efforts with the 30-plus different experiments being carried in the Spacelab module. Thomas’ efforts this morning were with the Glovebox unit and the Bubble Drop & Nonlinear Dynamics experiment while Linteris worked with the Droplet Combustion Experiment.
Thomas and Linteris are both scheduled for a half day of off-duty time this afternoon. Half day rest periods are built into the crew schedule during long duration spaceflights like STS-94 so that the astronauts can remain well rested and operate at peak efficiency.
While he is relaxing this afternoon, Thomas will take a few minutes to talk with high school students from the greater Cleveland area who will be gathered at the Great Lakes Science Center. The conversation between Thomas and the students is scheduled for 11:22 a.m. CDT.
The STS-94 Blue team, Payload Commander Janice Voss, Mission Specialist Mike Gernhardt and Payload Specialist Roger Crouch, will be awakened just after 11 a.m. today, to start their next day of orbiter and science operations. The blue team will take over responsibility for science and orbiter operations shortly after 1 p.m.
The next STS-94 status report will be issued at about 6 p.m.
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