STS-95, Mission Control Center
Status Report # 16
Thursday, November 5, 1998 - 6:30 p.m. CST
Some of the 80-plus experiments aboard Discovery were being wrapped
up today as the end of the STS-95 mission approaches. Others will continue
through Friday afternoon, the final full day on orbit.
Pilot Steve Lindsey and Mission Specialists Steve Robinson and Pedro
Duque checked out a new communications systems for use during spacewalks.
The new, digital communications system should provide enhanced communication
quality between the space-walking astronauts, the orbiter and the flight
control team in Houston.
Work with the Orbiter Space Vision System (OSVS) concluded today with
a test of camera quality under varied lighting conditions. Robinson
cycled through Discovery’s payload bay cameras exposing each to day
and nighttime conditions to validate how well the cameras can "see"
the OSVS targets. Deactivation of some of the experiments began today.
After using the Electronic Nose one last time to test the shuttle’s
air quality, Brown deactivated it for the rest of the mission. The Electronic
Nose is a miniaturized electronic air quality monitoring system that
mimics the way the human nose detects changes in the air. Duque also
shutdown the Microgravity Science Glovebox and stowed equipment associated
with that research facility.
The crew took time from its busy day today to talk with U.S., Japanese
and European reporters at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, as well as with reporters gathered at the European Space Agency’s Villafranca
tracking facility outside Madrid, Spain.
Vice President Al Gore, former Astronaut Scott Carpenter and school
children from the Washington D.C. area also had an opportunity to talk
with the astronauts, asking questions about John Glenn’s return to space and the work being done in orbit.
For the final time later this evening, Payload Specialists Glenn and
Chiaki Mukai will don sleep nets and specially-instrumented suits to
monitor brain waves, eye movements, muscle tension, body movements and
respiration during their sleep period.
Preliminary weather forecasts indicate generally favorable weather
to support Saturday’s landing at 11:10 a.m. Central time at the Kennedy
Space Center. Remnants of tropical storm Mitch are expected to pass
through the area and move off Florida’s east coast Friday night, allowing
good weather for landing on Saturday.
Discovery is orbiting the Earth every 95 minutes at an altitude of
about 341 statute miles with all systems operating well.
The next STS-95 status report will be issued at approximately 6 a.m.