STS-88 MISSION CONTROL CENTER STATUS REPORT #4
Friday, December 4, 1998 - 7:00 p.m. CST
STS-88 Commander Bob Cabana and his crew received their first wake up
call from Mission Control this afternoon at 3:36 p.m. CST to begin their
first full day of on orbit activities. The crew were awakened with the
song "Get Ready" by the Temptations, an appropriate description of the
full slate of activities the crew will be involved with as they get
ready for the important events of the flight by checking out the equipment
and tools that will be utilized during rendezvous, docking and space
A series of precise maneuvering burns in the early portion of the flight
will help Endeavour continue its pursuit of the Zarya control module.
The orbital chase between the two spacecraft is scheduled to conclude
on Sunday afternoon when Cabana maneuvers the Shuttle into close proximity
with the first piece of the International Space Station and Currie uses
the Shuttle's mechanical arm to grapple Zarya and dock it to the Unity
connection module which will already be mated to the orbiter's docking
Events onboard Endeavour during the first half of today's activities
have included the two EVA crewmembers - Mission Specialists Jerry Ross
and Jim Newman - performing a checkout of the SAFER or Simplified Aid
for EVA Rescue unit. SAFER is a mini maneuvering system that can provide
self-rescue capability for a spacewalker if they inadvertently become
separated from the spacecraft during a spacewalk. Also this afternoon,
the crew downlinked video taken inside the crew cabin during their ascent
Later today Ross and Newman will setup the Orbiter Space Vision System
equipment which provides the mechanical arm operator precise data on
the position and alignment of hardware located in the area of the payload
Also in preparation for the three planned spacewalks, the cabin pressure
inside Endeavour will be lowered from its normal 14.7 psi setting down
to 10.2. The lower cabin pressure will shorten the amount of time Newman
and Ross have to breath pure oxygen to prevent nitrogen bubbles from
forming in their blood stream, a condition commonly referred to as "the
bends" while they operate in the 4 psi environment of their spacesuits.
Other activities later today will have Newman and Ross doing verification
checks of the EVA suits they will use during their space walks as well
as preparing the airlock area that they will use to transition into
Endeavour's payload bay.
Currie will power up the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) mechanical
arm to make sure it is ready to support Unity module unstow and installation
activities on Saturday afternoon. She will also use the RMS arm to perform
a photo survey of the payload bay.
There are no issues being worked by either the crew or the flight control
team allowing all attention to remain focused on the mission objectives
of this first ISS assembly flight.
The STS-88 crew will finish their first full day of work early tomorrow
morning and will begin a sleep rest period at 5:36 a.m. Saturday morning
with their next wake up call coming eight hours later at 1:36 p.m. tomorrow.
The next STS-88 status report will be issued around 8 a.m. on Saturday.