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Fw: STS-108 Mission Status Report #03



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC

STS-108    Report # 03 
 Thursday, Dec.6, 2001 - 7 p.m. CST 
 
 Endeavour's crew spent its first full day in space today preparing for
the major events to come: docking with the International Space Station on
Friday; latching a cargo module to the station on Saturday; and
conducting a space walk on Monday.

Endeavour Commander Dom Gorie and Pilot Mark Kelly fired the shuttle's
steering engines and jets twice today to adjust course toward the
station. Gorie and Kelly also checked out the rendezvous systems and
navigation aids Endeavour will require for its final approach to the
orbiting complex, finding everything in good shape. Later, Kelly,
assisted by Mission Specialist Linda Godwin, powered up the shuttle's
robotic arm to check its operation and to use its television cameras to
survey the Raffaello cargo module and experiments housed in Endeavour's
payload bay. On Saturday, the robotic arm will be used by Kelly to attach
Raffaello to a station berthing port so that more than three tons of
food, supplies and experiments it holds can be moved aboard the complex.

Godwin and Mission Specialist Dan Tani also powered up and tested the
space suits they will wear for a four-hour space walk on Monday, finding
all the equipment in good condition. Godwin and Tani will install extra
insulation on mechanisms that rotate the station's solar arrays during
the excursion. Also today, Godwin powered up Endeavour's docking
mechanism and extended it into position to await contact with the
station. The Expedition Four crew members aboard Endeavour, en route to
begin an almost six-month mission aboard the station, assisted the
shuttle crew today with preparations and worked with several secondary
scientific investigations.

All crew members on the shuttle had a few hours off-duty this evening,
providing a short break in advance of what will be a busy week docked
with the International Space Station. Endeavour is scheduled to dock at
the station at about 1:59 p.m. CST Friday. The final phase of the
approach begins with an engine firing by Endeavour at about 11:44 a.m.
CST, when the shuttle is some nine miles behind the complex. Gorie will
take over manual control of Endeavour's approach just after 1 p.m. CST,
when Endeavour moves within a half-mile underneath the station. Gorie
will fly the shuttle closer, maneuvering a quarter-circle around the
station to dock at the complex's front port. Hatches will be opened
between the two spacecraft and the crews will greet one another around 4
p.m. CST.

Meanwhile, aboard the station today, the Expedition Three crew, Commander
Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail
Tyurin, spent their final solo day in flight packing for the trip home.
The station crew, completing more than four months in space, also
continued to unload a Russian cargo supply craft that docked to the
station last week.

Endeavour's crew will begin a sleep period at 10:19 p.m. CST and awaken
at 6:19 a.m. CST on Friday. Endeavour is now about 3,500 statute miles
behind the station, closing in 260 miles with each orbit of Earth. The
next STS-108 mission status report will be issued at about 7 a.m. CST
Friday.

--end--




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