Status Report

STS-102 Status Report #2 – 8 Mar 2001 8 p.m. CST

By SpaceRef Editor
March 8, 2001
Filed under ,

Space Shuttle Discovery continues to close in on the International Space
Station following Thursday morning’s flawless launch from the Kennedy Space
Center. Docking is scheduled for 11:36 Friday night.

In preparation for that rendezvous and docking, Discovery’s crew was
awakened at 6:42 p.m. Thursday to begin its first full day on orbit. The
wakeup song from Mission Control was “Living The Life” by the Rockit
Scientists, a group of training division instructors with whom shuttle
Commander Jim Wetherbee plays drums from time to time.

After wakeup, the crew of four shuttle and three station expedition
crewmembers got busy checking out systems and equipment to assist with
mission objectives, including the robotic arm, the two spacesuits that will
be worn for the first Extravehicular Activity (EVA), and the rendezvous
tools to assist with the final hours of Discovery’s approach and docking to
the station.

The STS-102 crew is made up of Wetherbee, Pilot Jim Kelly, Flight Engineer
Paul Richards and Mission Specialist Andy Thomas. The Expedition Two crew
consists of Russian Commander Yury Usachev, and Flight Engineers Jim Voss
and Susan Helms.

Usachev, Voss and Helms, will replace Expedition One Commander Bill
Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev, who
shortly will wrap up a 4-1/2 month stay aboard the station and return home
aboard Discovery.

With a docking test behind it, the Expedition One crew turns its attention
to final stowage in preparation for Discovery’s arrival.

After Friday’s late night docking, the astronauts will perform two space
walks outside the ISS to continue the process of outfitting the Destiny
research laboratory. The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, built by
the Italian Space Agency, will be attached to the ISS late Sunday. It is
filled with nearly five tons of equipment, including systems and science
racks that will be transferred to Destiny.

The Expedition crews will exchange places on the ISS in a three-step
fashion, beginning with Usachev and Gidzenko, who will swap places as
Station and Shuttle crewmembers early Saturday within hours after docking.

As of 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Discovery trailed the station by about 7,000
miles, closing that distance at a rate of 700 miles each orbit of the Earth,
or every 90 minutes. Simultaneously, the ISS is in good shape and ready to
support the shuttle’s arrival Friday.

The next STS-102/International Space Station mission status report will be
issued Friday at about 6 a.m.

SpaceRef staff editor.