Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

February 8, 1997
STATUS REPORT : S-19970208
3:00 PM EST

KSC Public Affairs Contact: George Diller (fax 407-867-2692)

VEHICLE: Discovery/OV-103
LAUNCH DATE/TIME: February 11 at 3:54 a.m. *
LAUNCH WINDOW: 65 minutes
TARGET KSC LANDING DATE/TIME: February 21 at about 1:30 a.m.
MISSION DURATION: 9 days, 21 hours, 34 minutes
CREW: Bowersox, Horowitz, Lee, Hawley, Harbaugh, Smith, Tanner
ORBITAL ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 360 statute miles/28.45 degrees

* Change from earlier status

The launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-82 mission continues on schedule for Tuesday, Feb. 11. The countdown began on time this morning at 4 a.m. in firing room 3 of the Launch Control Center.

The launch time for STS-82 has been adjusted slightly based on the current orbit of the Hubble Space Telescope. At this time launch is expected to occur between 3:54 and 3:55 a.m. EST on Tuesday morning. The launch team will target a 3:54 a.m. liftoff. The clock will be adjusted during the last few hours of the countdown for a final time to reflect the latest HST orbital parameters.

The astronauts today had their final medical examinations and commander Ken Bowersox and pilot Scott Horowitz flew the Shuttle Training Aircraft this morning at the Shuttle Landing Facility to hone their landing skills.

Earlier today a decision was made that it will not be necessary to remove and replace the power drive unit (PDU) for the aft main engine compartment vent doors and all work is proceeding on schedule. The aft flight doors were installed at 1:45 p.m. today.

Other activity being performed today is a confidence test of the aft compartment systems and a check of the software loaded into Discovery's onboard computers. The items the astronauts will use on-orbit are being stowed into the crew compartment. Later this evening, there will be a check of the Space Shuttle’s pyrotechnic systems and a test of the firing chain. Overnight tonight, the work to load the cryogenic reactants will be performed. These reactants are used by the fuel cells to generate power during the mission.

Engineers are evaluating the pH content of the water from one of Discovery’s fuel cells which is showing a higher than normal alkaline reading. The fuel cell in question is new, and this problem can be characteristic of one that has not flown. The fuel cell will be flushed during normal countdown activities tonight and is expected to return within normal limits. Water is generated as a byproduct of the fuel cells and is used by the crew for drinking water. A high base content makes the water unflavorful.

On Sunday, the orbiter’s avionics systems and navigation aids including the TACAN and the startracker will be checked out. On Monday, the switches in the cockpit will be configured for launch and the orbiter’s communications systems turned on and tested. The gantry-like rotating service structure which provides the primary access and weather protection for the Space Shuttle at the pad will be retracted at about 9:30 a.m.

Loading of the Space Shuttle's external tank with the 525,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants is scheduled to begin shortly after 7 p.m. and will take approximately three hours to complete.

The astronauts will begin boarding Discovery at approximately 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning and the hatch will be closed for flight at about 2:30 a.m.

The weather forecast on Tuesday morning has only a 20% chance of not being able to meet the launch weather criteria due primarily to a slight chance of fog. The temperature at launch time will be approximately 56 degrees, relative humidity of 86%, wind from the NNE at 8-14 knots.


- end -

text-only version of this release

To receive status reports and news releases issued from the Kennedy Space Center Newsroom electronically, send a blank e-mail message to To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail message to The system will confirm your request via e-mail.