STS-109, Mission Control Center
Status Report #19
Saturday, March 9, 2002 - 10:30 p.m. CST

After five days of successful spacewalks to rejuvenate the Hubble Space Telescope, the crew of Columbia will enjoy a Sunday off. The crew was awakened at 8:50 p.m. CST Saturday by "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra. The song was played for Commander Scott "Scooter" Altman.

The crewmembers onboard Columbia - Altman, Pilot Duane Carey and Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld, Nancy Currie, Rick Linnehan, Jim Newman and Mike Massimino - will have a rare opportunity to speak with another crew in orbit, the International Space Station Expedition Four crew.

At 2:15 a.m. Sunday the shuttle crew will talk with space station Commander Yury Onufrienko, and Flight Engineers Carl Walz and Dan Bursch. STS-109 is the first space shuttle mission not dedicated to assembly of the space station, since a crew has been living aboard the orbiting laboratory. The station has been continuously inhabited since the first expedition crew arrived in November 2000.

Columbia's crew also will participate in a live question and answer session with reporters at 6:47 a.m. WABC Radio in New York City; KARE-TV of Minneapolis, Minn., and the CBS Radio Network will discuss the Hubble servicing mission with the crew.

Flight Controllers at the Space Telescope Operations Center in Greenbelt, Md., report that all systems on Hubble are operating well after its release from Columbia. The new, more efficient solar arrays and Power Control Unit are performing excellently. The activation of the science instruments is scheduled to begin about 11 p.m. Sunday. Controllers will continue to monitor the newly installed components until everything is brought back on line.

Science observations are expected to resume in the next few weeks from the veteran Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and Wide Field Planetary Camera. Any possible moisture accumulated during the maintenance operations will be allowed to evaporate before some instruments will be activated. The newest science instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys, will begin peering more deeply into the cosmos in the next few months.

The crew will begin a sleep period at 11:22 a.m. Sunday. The next mission status report will be issued Sunday afternoon, or as events warrant.


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