Discovery’s crew took a few hours break from the continuous pace of research activity on board today, a standard rest period for the crew that is planned during longer shuttle flights.
Research continues, however, as the Spartan solar science satellite released by Discovery yesterday now trails the Shuttle by about 30 miles, performing observations of the sun and the solar wind. Discovery Commander Curt Brown and Payload Specialist John Glenn also took time out to answer questions about the mission from reporters with major broadcast television networks in the U.S. during the afternoon.
Later, Pilot Steve Lindsey and Mission Specialist Scott Parazynski set up lap top computers in Discovery’s cockpit in preparation for the retrieval of the Spartan satellite on Tuesday. Spartan is planned to be recaptured by the Shuttle at 2:45 p.m. tomorrow.
The crew is scheduled to go to sleep at 9:25 p.m. Central tonight and awaken at 5:25 a.m. Tuesday. Prior to going to sleep, Brown will perform a small firing of Discovery’s steering jets to maintain the distance from Spartan during the crew’s night. Also, Glenn and fellow Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai will don special instrumentation they will wear for a second night in a row that records a variety of information such as brain waves and body motions as they sleep.
Discovery remains in excellent condition with no systems problems of concern to Mission Control, orbiting Earth at an altitude of 348 by 338 statute miles. The next status report will be issued at 6 a.m. Central
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