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NASA HSF News Digest V1 #15

Submitted by Arthur Z. Rowe - N1ORC

In this issue:

	STS-109 Mission Status Report #03
	STS-109 Mission Status Report #04

All NASA HSF News Releases and Mission Status Reports are available
online at


Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 21:58:23 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov
Subject: STS-109 Mission Status Report #03

 Friday, March 1, 2002 - 9:30 p.m. CST 
 The crew of Columbia was awakened for its first full day in space at
8:22 p.m. CST with the song “Blue Telescope” by John Hiatt. In its
morning mail, the crew received news that mission managers are optimistic
the full mission will go forward as planned in spite of low flow in a
shuttle cooling line.

Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Duane Carey, Flight Engineer Nancy Currie
and spacewalkers John Grunsfeld, Rick Linnehan, Jim Newman and Mike
Massimino are beginning a complex mission to replace and upgrade key
systems in the Hubble Space Telescope – a job that requires five
back-to-back spacewalks, each more than six and a half hours long. 

Mission managers met Friday evening to review information about the
performance of the port side freon cooling system in Columbia’s payload
bay, which exhibited a degraded flow rate shortly after launch. They gave
Columbia’s crew a “go” to proceed with normal operations today and
expressed confidence the shuttle will be allowed to complete its full
mission. However, shuttle managers will meet again at midday Saturday for
a further review of the potential cooling system problem and they are
expected to reach a final conclusion at that time on proceeding with a
Sunday capture of Hubble and the ensuing spacewalks. The degraded cooling
system is one of two such systems aboard Columbia. The other system is
operating perfectly. Only one of the systems is needed to provide cooling
for the shuttle's electronics, but the concerns are whether the degraded
cooling system can be used as a backup in the event the fully operational
system were to experience unexpected problems. Although t!
he one system is operating at a lower capacity, the problem has had no
impact on any of the crew's activities and is not noticeable by the crew.
Altman and Carey are getting ready to fire Columbia’s reaction control
system thrusters to fine-tune its approach to Hubble at 11:10 p.m. CST.
Also tonight, the crew will test Columbia’s robotic arm, examine the
spacesuits on board, check out rendezvous equipment, and prepare the
Flight Support System that will hold the telescope while it is berthed in
the orbiter’s payload bay.

Currie is scheduled to use Columbia’s robot arm to grapple Hubble shortly
after 3 a.m. CST Sunday, setting the stage for the first spacewalk early
Monday morning.

During Hubble’s fourth service mission, the crew of Columbia will spend
five days replacing the observatory’s solar arrays, its main power
switching unit, and a gyroscopic pointing mechanism called a Reaction
Wheel Assembly. In addition, the spacewalkers will install a new camera
called the Advanced Camera for Surveys that can view twice the area of
the sky as Hubble’s current camera. The spacewalkers will install a
cooling system and an external radiator for the Near Infrared Camera and
Multi-Object Spectrometer, which requires very cold temperatures to

Columbia is in a 356 by 127 statute mile orbit of the Earth, catching up
to Hubble about 1,000 miles every orbit. The next STS-109 mission status
report will be issued Saturday morning or earlier if events warrant.
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 15:04:36 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov
Subject: STS-109 Mission Status Report #04

 Saturday, March 2  –  2:30  p.m. CST 
 As Columbia's crew completed preparations today for the capture of the
Hubble Space Telescope, mission managers confirmed that a degraded
shuttle cooling system will pose no problems for Columbia's flight.

Following an extensive analysis, managers determined that, although
operating at a lower capacity, the system in question still provides
sufficient cooling for shuttle equipment and Columbia can proceed with
the capture and rejuvenation of the Hubble Space Telescope. Today, the
STS-109 crew – Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Duane Carey, and Mission
Specialists Nancy Currie, Jim Newman, Rick Linnehan, John Grunsfeld and
Mike Massimino – prepared for Sunday morning’s planned rendezvous and
capture of the orbiting observatory.

Altman, Carey and Currie checked out the various tools that will be used
during the final phases of tomorrow’s rendezvous activities and performed
another in a series of burns designed to refine Columbia’s approach to
the telescope.  The two space walking pairs, Grunsfeld and Linnehan, and
Massimino and Newman, began a checkout of the spacesuits they will wear
over the course of five scheduled space walks and configured the airlock
in readiness for the first spacewalk early Monday morning.

Currie, who will operate the shuttle’s robotic arm to capture the
telescope and maneuver astronauts during the spacewalks, powered up the
50-foot long arm today, finding it in good condition. 

The final phases of the rendezvous will begin about 1a.m. Sunday as
Altman closes in on the telescope. Nancy Currie is planned to capture the
telescope at 3:14 a.m. Sunday using the robotic arm. At that time, the
two spacecraft will be over the Pacific Ocean, just east of Australia.

The next STS-109 mission status report will be issued Saturday evening,
or as events warrant.
- --end--

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End of NASA HSF News Digest V1 #15

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