Status Report

STS-97 Status Report #05 2 Dec 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
December 2, 2000
Filed under ,

Endeavour’s astronauts
executed a flawless docking to the inhabited International Space Station
at 2 p.m. Saturday and took the first step in providing additional power
to the orbiting complex in preparation for the first of three planned
space walks Sunday.

With Expedition
One crew members Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev looking
on, Commander Brent Jett guided the shuttle to a smooth linkup with
the ISS as the two craft sailed 230 statute miles above northeast Kazakhstan.
Endeavour is attached to a new station docking port installed last month
by the STS-92 astronauts.

The ISS residents
went to sleep a short time after docking, to be awakened just after
midnight for their 32nd day aboard the station. The station and shuttle
crews are maintaining separate sleep cycles to match the work they need
to accomplish during their week of joint activities.

A little over
two hours after docking, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Marc Garneau
maneuvered Endeavour’s Canadian-built robot arm and grappled the 45-foot-long,
17 ½ ton P6 solar array truss structure at 4:17 p.m., lifting
it out of its berthing latches in the shuttle’s cargo bay a few minutes
later. Garneau tilted the truss structure 30-degrees to the cargo bay,
where it will remain overnight attached to the arm to properly warm
its components. The P6 will be mated to the Z1 external truss atop the
Unity module Sunday by Garneau with the assistance of space walkers
Joe Tanner and Carlos Noriega during their 6½-hour excursion
outside Endeavour.

After leak checks
were completed between the two vehicles, and with Pilot Mike Bloomfield
looking on, Tanner and Noriega made their way through Endeavour’s docking
tunnel and opened the hatch to the ISS docking port to leave supplies
and computer hardware on the doorstep of the station. The hatch refused
to open at first because of a slight pressure differential between Endeavour
and the ISS, but Tanner used a little muscle to finally push it free.
Shepherd and his crewmates are scheduled to enter the Unity module for
the first time Sunday morning and will open their hatch to the docking
adapter to retrieve the items left behind by their shuttle counterparts.
The two crews will not greet each other face-to-face until Friday morning
when the hatches are open between the two spacecraft following completion
of the space walks.

Once the P6 is
mated to the Z1 truss, the solar arrays tower will be commanded to unfurl,
increasing the power supply to the ISS by five times its current output.
The space walk by Tanner and Noriega is scheduled to begin at about
12:30 p.m. Sunday, but could start as much as 45 minutes earlier if
they complete preparations ahead of schedule.

Endeavour’s astronauts
were set to begin an eight-hour sleep period at about 11:30 tonight
and will be awakened at 7:36 a.m. Sunday.

The Endeavour-ISS
complex is orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 235 statute miles with
all systems operating in excellent fashion.

The next STS-97
status report will be issued Sunday morning after the shuttle crew is

SpaceRef staff editor.