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Fw: NASA HSF News Digest V1 #16

Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

In this issue:

	STS-109 Mission Status Report #05
	STS-109 Mission Status Report #06

Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 21:21:29 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov
Subject: STS-109 Mission Status Report #05

Report # 05 
 Saturday, March 2, 2002 - 9 p.m. CST 
 To the theme of "Mission Impossible," Columbia's astronauts
awakened this morning to the news that all systems are go for their
mission, a week characterized as the most challenging flight ever to
maintain and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.

Columbia's capture of the telescope is planned for 3:13 a.m. Sunday. The
shuttle's final approach will begin this evening with the longest
rendezvous engine firing in shuttle program history. The three and a half
minute firing, to be performed using the shuttle's two large orbital
engines just after 10 p.m., will dramatically slow the rate at which
Columbia is closing on the telescope, raising the shuttle's orbital low
point more than 200 miles.

In the cockpit, shuttle Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Duane Carey will
guide Columbia's approach. On the shuttle's lower deck this evening,
Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld, Rick Linnehan, Jim Newman and Mike
Massimino will check out and prepare the tools they'll use during five
upcoming space walks. Mission Specialist Nancy Currie will power up
Columbia's robotic arm, moving it to a position poised to capture Hubble.

The final phase of the rendezvous with Hubble will begin at about 1 a.m.
Sunday, when Columbia is about nine statute miles behind the observatory.
An engine firing at that time will put the shuttle on course to directly
intercept the telescope. As the shuttle moves within about a half-mile
below Hubble about an hour and a half later, Altman will take over manual
control of the approach. Altman will ease Columbia to within 35 feet of
the telescope, within reach of the outstretched 50-foot-long robotic arm.

As Columbia flies 350 miles above the Pacific Ocean east of Australia,
Currie will latch the arm onto a fixture on Hubble. Currie will then
lower the telescope into position to be latched to a special support
structure in the shuttle's cargo bay. The cargo bay Flight Support
System, as the structure is called, will hold the telescope for the next
week, turning and tilting it as needed for the spacewalking work.

At about 7 a.m. Sunday, commands will be sent to begin retracting the
telescope's two solar arrays, one at a time over the course of about two
hours, in preparation for Monday's first space walk. The first space
walk, which Grunsfeld and Linnehan are planned to begin at about 12:30
a.m. Monday, will install a pair of new-generation solar arrays on the

Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 11:55:29 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov
Subject: STS-109 Mission Status Report #06

Report # 06 
 Sunday, March 3, 2002 – noon CST 
 The Hubble Space Telescope is secure in Columbia’s payload bay following
its capture at 3:31 a.m. central time today, as the two spacecraft soared
350 miles above the Pacific Ocean southwest of the Mexican Coast.

Columbia’s chase of the telescope ended with Commander Scott Altman and
Pilot Duane Carey manually flying Columbia to within 35 feet of Hubble
allowing Mission Specialist Nancy Currie to use the shuttle’s robot arm
to gently grasp the orbiting observatory.

With the telescope safely in the payload bay, the crew turned its
attention to retracting the two large solar arrays that generate power
for the telescope.  The motors that drive the two arrays had not been
used since the panels were originally deployed during the first servicing
mission in December 1993.  The motors performed flawlessly taking
approximately five minutes to retract each of the two arrays.  The
retractions were scheduled to take place during orbital daytime to allow
sunlight to adequately warm the arrays prior to retraction.

The first in a pair of new-generation solar arrays will be installed by
John Grunsfeld and Rick Linnehan on the first scheduled spacewalk of the
mission, which is set to begin about 12:30 a.m. Monday.  However, it is
possible the spacewalk could begin up to one hour earlier than scheduled.

The crew is scheduled to wake up about 8 p.m. today, and within hours
Grunsfeld and Linnehan, with the assistance of crewmates Jim Newman and
Mike Massimino, will begin donning their spacesuits.  They will begin the
spacewalk by setting up some of the tools they will use, before Grunsfeld
and Linnehan, working together, remove the old array, stow it in the
payload bay and install the new starboard side array. They will also
install its associated electrical support components, called a Diode Box
Mission Control bid the crew goodnight just before noon today concluding
a busy and successful day culminating with the capture of the Hubble
Space Telescope.  The next STS-109 mission status report will be issued
Sunday evening following crew wake-up or as events warrant.

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