STS-95, Mission Control Center
Status Report # 06
Saturday, October 31, 1998 - 6 p.m. CST
Discovery's crew spent much of the last half of today in preparation
for tomorrow's planned release of the Spartan solar science satellite,
checking out the tools and equipment that will be used during the release
and separation from the satellite.
The crew also began several of the medical studies planned for the
investigate how the human body changes in weightlessness and how those
changes compare with those that occur as part of the natural aging process
on Earth. For those studies, 77-year old Payload Specialist John Glenn began providing some of the 10 blood samples and 16 urine samples that
will be taken during the mission to study the effects of space flight
on his body.
The checkout of equipment that will be used for tomorrow's deploy of
the Spartan included a check of the Orbiter Space Vision System by astronauts
Steve Robinson and Scott Parazynski. The system uses special markings
on the satellite and shuttle cargo bay to provide an alignment aid for
the arm's operator derived from shuttle television images. It will be
used extensively on the next Space Shuttle flight in December, STS-88,
as an aid in using the arm to join together the first two International
Space Station modules. Later this evening, a check of navigation equipment
and aids that will be used during the Spartan release was scheduled.
Glenn and Commander Curt Brown also took time out from the experiment
work to speak with students in Ohio and Virginia about the scientific
activities aboard Discovery. Discovery remains in excellent condition
with no equipment problems to interrupt the ongoing research.
The shuttle is orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of
about 340 statute miles. The crew is scheduled to go to sleep tonight
at 10:35 p.m. and awaken at 6:35 a.m. Central on Sunday.
The next status report STS-95 status report will be issued at approximately
7 a.m. Central Saturday.