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STS-108 Mission Status Report #18



SUBMITED BY ARTHUR N1ORC

STS-108   Report # 18 
 Friday, Dec. 14, 2001 –  6 a.m. CST 
 
 In space today, the 10 astronauts and cosmonauts on board Endeavour and
the International Space Station, will focus their efforts on final
transfer activities and this morning’s unberthing of the Raffaello Multi-
Purpose Logistics Module to be placed back in Endeavour’s payload bay for
a return trip home.

Raffaello has been loaded with unneeded equipment, as well as gear from
the returning Expedition Three crewmembers, including their custom Soyuz
spacesuits and seat liners.  The hatch between Raffaello and the space
station will be closed about 10 a.m. CST today once final transfers are
complete.  About 1:20 p.m., Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialist Linda
Godwin will begin the process of detaching Raffaello from the station
using the shuttle’s 50-foot long robotic arm.  The process of removing
Raffaello from the station and carefully placing it back in Endeavour’s
payload bay is expected to be complete shortly after 3:30 p.m. 

The two station commanders – Frank Culbertson and Yury Onufrienko – will
continue their handover briefings even as they prepare for Endeavour’s
scheduled departure Saturday morning.   Expedition Three crew member
Vladimir Dezhurov will join Onufrienko in some final maintenance work on
the station this morning replacing a faulty compressor in an air
conditioner unit in the Zvezda Service Module.  

All of the crew members – Endeavour Commander Dom Gorie, Kelly, Godwin
and Dan Tani, along with Expedition Three crew members Culbertson,
Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin and the Expedition Four crew, Onufrienko, Dan
Bursch and Carl Walz – will meet late in the day today for a final
briefing in preparation for Endeavour’s departure tomorrow.  Following
final farewells tomorrow morning, about 7:30 a.m., the hatches between
Endeavour and the station will be closed for a final time during this
mission.  Endeavour will undock from the station at 10 a.m. Saturday, and
after a brief fly-around of the station, a final engine burn will mark
Endeavour’s departure from the station, leaving the Expedition Four crew
on board for a planned five-month stay.

Endeavour’s crew was awakened at 5:12 a.m. today by a traditional Russian
song, “My Sweetheart,” played for Onufrienko, Dezhurov and Tyurin.  The
Expedition Four crew was awakened about a half-hour later with a wake-up
tone on board the station.

Endeavour and the International Space Station remain in good shape,
orbiting at an average altitude of 241 statute miles.  Wednesday, the
crew and flight control teams noted a transient problem with one of the
shuttle’s three inertial measurement units (IMUs), the primary navigation
units for the shuttle.  That IMU, designated IMU2, 
experienced about an hour-long “drift rate,” subsequently returning to
normal operation. Flight controllers have taken IMU2 off line and
declared it “failed,” though it has performed normally since the initial
problem was observed.   The remaining two IMUs on board are performing
well and the loss of a single IMU has no impact on Endeavour’s mission or
planned landing.  Endeavour could operate well on only one IMU if
required.

The next STS-108 mission status report will be issued about 6 p.m. today
or as events warrant.
                        END





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