Status Report

STS-104 Mission Control Center Status Report # 04 Friday, July 13, 2001 – 6:30 p.m. CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
July 13, 2001
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The crew of the
Space Shuttle Atlantis was awakened at 3:04 p.m. CDT to the song ìGod
of Wondersî by the group Caedmon’s Call. On this, their third
day in space, the five-member crew of Atlantis is focusing on a rendezvous
and docking with the International Space Station around 9:53 p.m.

The day’s
rendezvous operations began at 4:34 p.m. with Atlantis trailing the
station by about 250 statute miles and closing the gap by 230 miles
every orbit. Yesterday, the crew powered up the shuttle’s docking
mechanism and installed a centerline camera that will help line up the
orbiter’s docking mechanism with the station’s docking port.

Aboard the International
Space Station, Expedition Two crew Commander Yury Usachev and Flight
Engineers Jim Voss and Susan Helms awoke at 4 p.m. The Expedition Two
crew spent its orbital morning preparing the station for the arrival
of Atlantis, and some initial cargo exchanges.

Another successful
firing of Atlantis’ orbital maneuvering system engines at 6 p.m.
refined the shuttle’s approach. A final burn, called the Terminal
Intercept (Ti) burn, is scheduled for 7:33 p.m. when Atlantis is about
50,000 feet behind the station. After the Ti burn, the shuttle’s
rendezvous radar system will begin tracking the station and providing
range and closing rate information to Commander Steve Lindsey and Pilot
Charlie Hobaugh. When Atlantis reaches a point about a half mile below
the station, Lindsey will take manual control of the station and slow
Atlantis’ approach, flying to a point about 600 feet below the
station. Mission Specialists Michael Gernhardt, Janet Kavandi and Jim
Reilly will assist, operating additional range-finding tools and documenting
the approach with an IMAX camera mounted in the cargo bay. Lindsey will
trace a quarter-circle around the station, bringing the shuttle to a
point a little more than 300 feet in front of the Destiny laboratory
and Pressurized Mating Adapter 2. From that point, Lindsey will move
Atlantis toward the station at a speed of one tenth of a mile per hour
until the two vehicles are just 30 feet apart; there he will pause for
a few minutes to check his alignment. Lindsey will gently close the
distance until the shuttle’s spring-loaded docking mechanism makes
contact with the station. The mechanism will be retracted and latches
commanded to close, completing the docking process.

After docking,
the crews are scheduled to open the hatches between the two vehicles
about 11:30 p.m. and greet one another in a brief welcoming ceremony.

The next mission
status report will be issued about 6 a.m. Saturday.

SpaceRef staff editor.