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STS-92 Mission Journal

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The first view of Discovery's payload bay (11 Oct). Image courtesy of NASA TV.

Shuttle Discovery comes home from mission STS-92 to the International Space Station!

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bullet2 November 2000 - Shuttle Discovery is making its way back to Florida, bolted to the top of a specially modified 747 jetliner. NASA explains:

Station Crew Settles In; NASA Preparations Continue on Earth
As the Expedition 1 crew gets settled in the International Space Station for a four-month stay, Space Shuttle Discovery, recently returned from space, is on its way back to the Kennedy Space Center, FL, from Edwards Air Force Base, CA, where it landed. Flying mated to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, Discovery and the ferry crew will spend the night at Whiteman AFB, MO, and depart early Friday morning enroute to Florida. Meanwhile, Space Shuttle Endeavour is on the launch pad in preparation for its visit to the Station in December. Endeavour will carry the crew of STS-97 on a mission to increase the Stationís power-generating capability with the delivery of the largest solar arrays ever deployed in space.

The trip could cost NASA a million bucks - and like most plane flights, it was still delayed!

 

bullet25 October 2000 - The crew of Shuttle Discovery returned to Houston, TX today, for a ceremony at Hangar 990 at JSC's Ellington Field. The spacecraft itself will return to Florida on Halloween - flying piggyback on a special 747 jet on October 31st. Here are the KSC Shuttle Status Reports from yesterday and today.

 

bullet24 October 2000 - Update 5:30PM EDT - A picture-perfect landing! Great job, Discovery!!! NASA reports:

Welcome Home Discovery!
After nearly 12 days in orbit, Space Shuttle Discovery made a picture perfect landing at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, today. Bad weather Sunday and Monday prevented landing earlier at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, as originally planned. Discovery began its return to Earth when Mission Commander Brian Duffy and Pilot Pam Melroy performed a 3-minute de-orbit burn culminating with landing at 4:58 p.m. EDT. The completion of STS-92 marks the end of a successful International Space Station assembly mission. While at the station, the seven astronauts prepared the station for its first resident crew, performed four space walks and used Discovery's robotic arm to install the Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 to open the door for future assembly missions.

Wednesday, the STS-92 astronauts will return to Houston, Texas. They are scheduled to land at Ellington Field at 1:30 p.m. CDT (18:30 GMT).

 

bullet24 October 2000 - Update 4PM EDT - Engines fired for de-orbit burn! NASA states:

Discovery Begins Return to Earth
At 2:52 p.m. CDT (19:52 GMT), Space Shuttle Discovery began its return to Earth when STS-92 Commander Brian Duffy and Pilot Pam Melroy performed a 3-minute de-orbit burn. Discovery will land at Edwards Air Force Base in California at 3:59 p.m. CDT (20:59 GMT).

 

bullet24 October 2000 - Update 1:20PM EDT - Way Out West: KSC is out, Edwards is in. NASA states:

Controllers Bypass KSC opportunity, Focus on Landing in California
The flight control team bypassed STS-92's landing opportunity at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. and now focuses on two opportunities at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where weather conditions are expected to be acceptable. The first opportunity at Edwards calls for a de-orbit burn at 2:52 p.m. CDT (19:52 GMT) and landing at 3:59 p.m. CDT (20:59 GMT). For the second opportunity, the de-orbit burn would occur at 4:29 p.m. CDT (21:29 GMT) and landing at 5:35 p.m. CDT (22:35 GMT).

 

bullet24 October 2000 - Update 10:45AM EDT - STS-92 ends today. NASA reports:

Three Opportunities Available for Discovery to Land Today
Today, STS-92 will have three available opportunities to return to Earth. This will be the third day in which Discovery will try to land. On the two previous days, the landing opportunities were waved off due to unacceptable weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The first landing opportunity of the day is at Kennedy at 2:28 p.m. CDT (19:28 GMT), but weather forecasts indicate that a Kennedy landing is unlikely due to high winds, cloud cover and rain. The two opportunities at Edwards are much more favorable due to improving weather conditions. The first opportunity at Edwards is at 3:59 p.m. CDT (20:59 GMT), and the second is at 5:35 p.m. CDT (22:35 GMT).

 

bullet24 October 2000 - Will Discovery come home today? We're betting on a California landing - too bad about the $750K it will cost to fly her back to Florida! NASA states:

Discovery's Crew Still in Orbit; Will Come Home Today
Bad weather yesterday forced the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-92 to remain aboard Discovery for another day. Although the winds are currently too high for the shuttle to land at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, Discovery's crew will begin preparations that will keep that open as an option, should conditions improve. Landing would occur at 3:28 p.m., EDT. Weather conditions at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, however, are good, and flight controllers are likely to target that location for landing. That decision would put Discovery's gear on the runway at Edwards at 4:59 p.m., EDT, or, if another go-around is required, at 6:36 p.m., EDT.

Discovery has three landing opportunities on Tuesday that managers are considering. Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. Tuesday, Space Shuttle Discovery is targeted to land at 2:28 p.m. CDT (19:28 GMT). The NASA TV schedule is available online.

Play-by-play at Spaceflight Now and Florida Today. Check back with us later today for more news!

 

bullet23 October 2000 - Update 11PM EDT - No landing today! Mission Control reports:

Weather Forces Another Delay; Discovery to Try Landing Tuesday
Due to rain showers in the vicinity of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Space Shuttle Discovery's fifth and final landing opportunity for Monday has been waved off, and the focus turns to the three opportunities that managers are considering for Tuesday. Earlier today, two opportunities to land at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., were waved off due to high winds, and two opportunities at Edwards were waved off due to rain showers in the area and low cloud ceilings.

The first landing opportunity that managers are considering for Tuesday is at 2:28 p.m. CDT (19:28 GMT) at Kennedy. Then, there are two landing opportunities at Edwards. The first is at 3:59 p.m. CDT (20:59 GMT), and the second is at 5:35 p.m. CDT (22:35 GMT). According to weather forecasts, conditions are expected improve at Edwards and are not expected to be as favorable at Kennedy. The flight control team and forecasters will continue to monitor the situation overnight. When STS-92 lands, it will have completed a successful mission to prepare the International Space Station for the arrival of its first resident crew and for future assembly missions.

The ground tracks for Tuesday's shuttle landing opportunities are now available.

Low clouds are visible in this NASA TV image from Edwards AFB Monday afternoon. Image by NewsFromSpace.Today's final wave-off came at 5:25PM EDT. The crew then began their Orbiter back-out procedure, undoing the landing preparations they had made once again. Mission control complimented their work today, asking them to "do it again tomorrow". At 6:45PM EDT, the crew were removing their orange entry suits. Tuesday will bring two landing opportunities each at KSC and Edwards, on Orbits 200, 201, 202, and 203. Here's the latest Shuttle Status Report from KSC


bullet23 October 2000 - Update 5PM EDT - NASA reports:

Discovery May Still Land Tonight
Weather continued to vex flight controllers as they waived off another landing opportunity at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, this afternoon. A cluster of showers and low clouds in the area forced a decision to wait until the next pass by the Space Shuttle in the hope that conditions will improve. Bad weather at Kennedy Space Center had prevented landing there earlier today and yesterday. If landing at Edwards is a go, the deorbit burn would take place at 6:29 p.m. EDT with landing at 7:35 p.m. EDT. If the weather does not improve, landing will be attempted again tomorrow. For the latest information on Discovery's status, follow the link.

Rain Showers Culprit in Latest Delay
The Shuttle Training Aircraft, or STA, begins to check conditions in preparation for Space Shuttle Discovery's landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Astronaut Kent Rominger is the pilot of the STA, which is a highly modified Gulfstream II corporate jet. Image courtesy of NASA.Space Shuttle Discovery's stay in space has been extended by at least one more orbit due to rain showers in the vicinity of Edwards Air Force Base in California. It is the third wave off today for the STS-92 crew due to weather. One more opportunity remains for landing today. Discovery is now targeting a 6:35 p.m. (23:35 GMT) landing at Edwards. If the crew gets the approval to land they will perform the de-orbit burn at 5:29 p.m. CDT (22:29 GMT). Forecasters are closely monitoring the progress of the rain showers. 

Florida Today: NASA watching weather for Discovery landing


bullet23 October 2000 - Update 4PM EDT - Mission Control reports:

Weather Causes Second Shuttle Landing Wave Off for Today
The first landing opportunity for Space Shuttle Discovery at Edwards Air Force, Calif., has been waved off due to low cloud ceilings and the threat of rain in the vicinity of Edwards. The new target landing time at Edwards is at 4:58 p.m. CDT (21:58 GMT) with the de-orbit burn occurring at 3:51 p.m. CDT (20:51 GMT). Also, the second opportunity for landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., has been waved off due to high winds. High winds also caused the first landing opportunity at Kennedy to be waved off earlier today.

If STS-92 is unable to land on its next opportunity, there is one more scheduled for today at Edwards with the de-orbit burn occurring at 5:29 p.m. CDT (22:59 GMT) and landing at 6:35 p.m. CDT (23:35 GMT). The flight control team and forecasters continue to monitor the weather situation.

UPI: NASA preparing to land Discovery in California
BBC: Wind delays Discovery landing


bullet23 October 2000 - Update 3PM EDT - NASA reports:

Discovery May Land Later Today
International Space Station in orbit as seen from Discovery. Image courtesy of NASA. Flight controllers and meteorologists continue to watch the weather at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, hoping that conditions will allow Discovery to land today. The crew has closed the payload doors in preparation for a deorbit burn, should the flight team decide that landing is possible on the next opportunity, at 5:58 p.m., EDT. The seven astronauts of Space Shuttle mission STS-92 have been in orbit since October 11, preparing the International Space Station for arrival of the first permanent residents, the crew of Expedition 1, in early November. The photo at left shows the station taken from the Space Shuttle as it backed away upon departure. Follow the link for up-to-the-minute information on Discovery.

New video clips at Houston Chronicle and NASA.


bullet23 October 2000 - Update Noon EDT - Another wave-off for KSC. Mission Control reports:

Weather Delays Shuttle Landing
Once again, high winds have forced a delay of Space Shuttle Discovery's return to Earth with the wave-off of the first landing opportunity at Kennedy Space Center, or KSC, in Florida. Landing was slated for 1:51 p.m. CDT (18:51 GMT). Landing is now targeted 3:23 p.m. CDT (20:23 GMT) at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The STS-92 crew has one more opportunity remaining today at KSC and two more at Edwards.

The remaining opportunity at KSC and the first one at Edwards are on the same orbit. The de-orbit burn for the first Edwards opportunity would occur at 2:15 p.m. (19:15 GMT). For KSC, the de-orbit burn would occur at 2:21 p.m. CDT (19:21 GMT) and touchdown at 3:28 p.m. CDT (20:28 GMT). For the second opportunity at Edwards, Discovery's de-orbit burn would occur at 3:51 p.m. CDT (20:51 GMT) and landing at 4:58 p.m. CDT (21:58 GMT).

Weather forecasts indicate there is a chance that weather may be a problem at Edwards due to cloud cover and rain. Forecasters and the flight control team continue to monitor weather conditions at Kennedy and Edwards.

The ground tracks are now available for today's scheduled shuttle landing. The STS-92 crew and Mission Control have answered questions in the Ask the Expert section. The STS-92 Press Kit is available online.


bullet23 October 2000 - Update 10AM EDT - Let's try that again... Mission Control reports:

Astronauts Prepare for Landing
After an additional day in space, Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to return to Earth later today, weather conditions permitting. Landing opportunities exist at both Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Edwards Air Force Base in California.

Weather conditions in Florida closely mimic those of Sunday when strong winds forced a landing wave-off. There is an additional threat of low clouds and showers in the vicinity of the Shuttle Landing Facility today with weather conditions expected to continue degrading over the next 24 hours. In California, the forecast for Edwards Air Force Base calls for a possibility of cloud cover and rain showers in the area but generally improving conditions Tuesday.

Discovery, which was supposed to land yesterday, can stay aloft until Wednesday if necessary.


bullet23 October 2000 - The crew of Shuttle Discovery prepares for landing today. NASA stated this morning:

Discovery to Land Today, Weather Permitting
Weather forecasters are looking closely at conditions at the Kennedy Space Center, FL, and Edwards Air Force Base, CA, planning for landing of Space Shuttle Discovery later today. The seven astronauts of Space Shuttle Mission STS-92 remained in space an extra day when strong winds forced a landing wave-off. There is an additional threat of low clouds and showers in the Kennedy Space Center area today and weather conditions are forecasted to get worse over the next 24 hours. Conditions are not optimal at Edwards either, but are expected to improve tomorrow. The first landing opportunity in Florida today would occur at 2:51 p.m. EDT. Landing track information is available; you may be able to see the Discovery enroute to landing from your location today.

Wrap up last week's Shuttle stories at Florida Today.

 

bullet22 October 2000 - Update 10PM EDT - The crew of Shuttle Discovery is getting ready to hit the sack. They will make another attempt to return home tomorrow. NASA reports:

Astronauts Prepare for Monday's Landing Opportunities
Discovery's astronauts prepared for a Monday landing after high crosswinds at Kennedy Space Center caused a delay of at least one day in their return to Earth and the end of their successful mission to expand the International Space Station and ready it for its first crew.

Discovery has two landing opportunities Monday at Kennedy Space Center, where the weather is expected to be questionable, and three at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The first landing opportunity is 1:51 p.m. CDT (18:51 GMT) at Kennedy Space Center. The flight control teams and weather forecasters will continue to closely monitor the situation.

The ground tracks are now available for Monday's scheduled shuttle landing.

Play-by-play at Spaceflight Now and Florida Today. Here's the latest Shuttle Status Report from KSC. 


bullet22 October 2000 - Update 2PM EDT - The Discovery astronauts are just about done backing out of the landing preparations they had made today. Tomorrow's weather at KSC actually looks worse than today's, so a west-coast touchdown is a possibility. NASA reports:

Controllers Wave Off Landing; Discovery to Try Again Monday
High crosswinds cause flight controllers to wave off Space Shuttle Discovery's two landing attempts for today. The first landing opportunity was scheduled for 1:14 p.m. CDT (18:14 GMT). The second opportunity was available at 2:50 p.m. CDT (19:50 GMT) at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Discovery will have five opportunities Monday -- two at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and three at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The first landing opportunity is 1:51 p.m. CDT (18:51 GMT) at Kennedy Space Center. The flight control teams and weather forecasters will continue to closely monitor the situation.

The ground tracks for Monday's opportunities will be available shortly. The STS-92 crew and Mission Control have answered questions in the Ask the Expert section.


bullet22 October 2000 - Update 12:40PM EDT - Mission Control reports that crosswinds are out-of-limits, and they are waving off both landing opportunities for today. They are shooting for another KSC landing tomorrow, but the weather forecast does not look any better. They may have to land at Edwards in California tomorrow or the next day, to end this tremendously successful mission. 

KSC landing opportunities tomorrow (Monday) will be at 2:51PM EDT  and 4:26PM EDT. Florida Today reports on NASA's confirmation that Edwards AFB will be activated as a landing site tomorrow. Three Edwards landing opportunities are available at 4:22PM EDT, 6:00PM EDT, and 7:34PM EDT. It would be fitting to land the 100th mission where the first one came home - although NASA would prefer a Florida landing for quicker turnaround processing (and reduced cost).


bullet22 October 2000 - Landing day! There is a concern about high winds at KSC.
Update 11:15AM EDT - The payload bay doors are closed. NASA reports:

Landing Day Arrives for STS-92
With the first landing opportunity for today scheduled at 1:14 p.m. CDT (18:14 GMT), the STS-92 crew is preparing for their return home after a successful mission to the International Space Station. However, the landing may be delayed due to high cross winds at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Mission managers and weather forecasters are monitoring the situation. If the "go" is given for today's first landing opportunity, Space Shuttle Discovery's de-orbit burn will occur at 12:07 p.m. CDT (17:07 GMT). If the second landing opportunity is needed, the de-orbit burn will occur at 1:43 p.m. CDT (18:43 GMT) and landing at 2:50 p.m. CDT (19:50 GMT) at Kennedy Space Center.

Crosswinds at KSC are reported to be high, and it doesn't look like the weather will improve soon. Will they have to land at Edwards? Discovery can stay aloft until Wednesday. If the weather improves, the de-orbit burn will happen at 1:07PM EDT.

Play-by-play at Spaceflight Now and Florida Today. Check back with us later today for more news!

 

bullet21 October 2000 - Update 11PM EDT - Getting ready for Sunday's touchdown. NASA reports:

STS-92 Crew Prepares for Landing
Discovery's seven astronauts tested reaction control system thrusters that will properly orient the spacecraft as it begins its descent toward a landing scheduled for Sunday. They also tested flight surface controls that will be used to fly the orbiter like an airplane once it enters the atmosphere. Discovery has two landing opportunities Sunday at Kennedy Space Center's 3-mile-long runway. The first, on orbit 169, would see a deorbit burn at 12:07 p.m. CDT for the 1:14 p.m. landing. The second opportunity, on orbit 170, would see a deorbit burn at 1:43 p.m. with a landing at 2:50 p.m. Forecasters are looking carefully at Sunday weather at the Cape. The main concern is over the possibility of crosswinds gusting too fast over Runway 15.

UPI: Discovery astronauts prepare to come home


bullet21 October 2000 - Discovery's crew is prepping for tomorrow's landing at KSC. NASA reports:

STS-92 Crew to Prepare for Landing
STS-92 Pilot Pamela Melroy and Commander Brian Duffy take questions from Rochester, New York television reporters yesterday. Image couresy of NASA. Following their departure from the International Space Station Friday morning, Space Shuttle Discoveryís seven astronauts will now spend a day stowing equipment and checking the space shuttle systems that support re-entry and landing in preparation for a return to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Sunday afternoon. Today, there will be a test of the systems that will be used during the return home to Kennedy Space Center to ensure that equipment remains in good condition. Just after 9 a.m. CDT (14:00 GMT), they will test the flight control systems that maneuver the shuttle once it re-enters the atmosphere and begins to operate like an airplane. A little over one hour later, a test fire of all 44 thruster jets on Discovery will be performed to verify they are in good working order.

The ground tracks are now available for Sunday's scheduled shuttle landing.

Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. Today, the STS-92 Crew News Conference will begin at 2:17 p.m. CDT (19:17 GMT). The NASA TV schedule is available online.

Here's the latest Shuttle Status Report from KSC. New Flight Day 7 and Flight Day 8 imagery is now available from NASA. Video at Houston Chronicle and NASA.

 

bullet20 October 2000 - Update - Discovery undocks from ISS! NASA reports:

Discovery Ends Stay at Station
The International Space Station orbits the Earth following Space Shuttle Discovery's undocking. This a view from one of Discovery's windows. Image courtesy of NASA. At 10:08 a.m. CDT (15:08 GMT), Space Shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station while flying over the country of Brazil. STS-92 spent a week docked to the station and continued the on-orbit construction of the station and prepared it for the arrival of the first resident crew, which is scheduled to arrive Nov. 2. The STS-92 crew performed four space walks and used the robotic arm to install two new station components -- the Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 -- to set the stage for future assembly missions. Now, STS-92 begins its trip home. Discovery is scheduled to land Sunday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. at 1:14 p.m. CDT (18:14 GMT). The astronauts will have this afternoon off to rest.

Here are today's morning and evening Mission Control Center Status Reports.
ABC News: Shuttle Undocks From Space Station
UPI: Discovery leaves space station ready for first tenants

bullet20 October 2000 - Discovery to separate from the ISS today. NASA reports:

Discovery, Station to Undock
The crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-92 is in final preparations for their undocking from the International Space Station at 11:09 EDT today. Once Discovery has backed a few hundred feet away from the station, a final separation burn will send the spacecraft and and her crew on their way toward home.

And from early this morning...

Crew Prepares for Undocking
The STS-92 crew will shortly move into final preparations for their undocking from the International Space Station at 10:09 CDT (15:09 GMT) this morning. Discovery's crew delivered two critical components to the station - the Z1 Truss structure that will support large solar arrays arriving on the next shuttle mission and a second docking port that will be used as a docking location for that late November shuttle flight, designated mission STS-97. Unlike some previous flights, the STS-92 crew will not perform a fly around of the station after undocking. 

Following undocking and separation, the astronauts will get a half day off to rest.

Houston Chronicle: Astronauts prepare station for move-in
Florida Today: Shuttle wrapping work; return home set for Sunday

 

bullet19 October 2000 - A brush with launch disaster. A broken radar antenna. Four spectacular back-to-back spacewalks. Heavy construction at 17000MPH. This has been some mission! STS-92 will undock from the ISS tomorrow (Friday) at 11:09AM EDT. Landing is scheduled for this Sunday (22 Oct 2000) at 2:13PM EDT. NASA reports:

Crew Ends Work at Space Station
The STS-92 crew has successfully completed its on-orbit construction work at the International Space Station. The astronauts wrapped up the job of preparing the station for the arrival of its first resident crew and future assembly missions. Thursday, the seven-member crew transferred supplies and equipment from Discovery to the station's Zarya Control Module and Unity Connecting Module. They also checked out the Control Motion Gyro's, the station's motion control system located in the Z1 Truss, which is working fine. However, the test of the gyros and the transfer of equipment took longer than expected and has caused Friday's undocking to be pushed back by one orbit. The STS-92 crew will close the final hatch to the station Friday at 8:17 a.m. CDT (13:17 GMT) before Discovery undocks at 10:09 a.m. CDT (15:09 GMT).

STS-92 Completes 4 Space Walks
STS-92, the 100th space shuttle flight, has opened the door for future International Space Station assembly. In order to complete the mission objectives of STS-92, four space walks were performed. The four space walks are the most scheduled for a shuttle flight during the space station assembly sequence. Also, the fourth space walk is the 54th space walk in space shuttle history and the 10th outside of the International Space Station. STS-92's four space walks totaled 27 hours and 19 minutes. The total time for the 54 shuttle space walks is now 338 hours and 10 minutes.

Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. Friday at 10:09 a.m. CDT (15:09 GMT), Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to undock from the station. At 11:42 am. CDT (16:42 GMT), the crew will participate in interviews with CNN, SPACEFLIGHTNOW.com and the CBS Radio Network. Then at 1:12 p.m. CDT (18:12 GMT), the crew will participate in interviews with WHEC-TV, WROC-TV and WOKR-TV in Rochester, N.Y. The NASA TV schedule is available online.

Did You Know? Mission Specialist Bill McArthur is carrying a swatch of fabric from the cloth-covered wings of the Wright Brothers' first airplane, plus a little sand from the South Carolina dunes where they first flew, nearly a century ago [thanks, Rick!]. We've come a long way, but we've got a long way to go!

Here are today's morning and evening Mission Control Center Status Reports from JSC, and the latest Shuttle Status Report from KSC.

ABC: Astronauts Horrified as Toilet Backs Up
BBC: Astronauts Simulate Space Accident
Fox: Shuttle Crew Heads Back Inside ISS
UPI: Astronauts enter space station

 

bullet18 October 2000 - Update 11PM - EVA #4 is complete, and the crew heads inside the station. NASA reports:

Space Walk Activity Ends for STS-92
Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria (left) and Jeff Wisoff perform the fourth and final space walk of STS-92.  Image courtesy of NASA.Wednesday at 4:56 p.m. CDT (21:56 GMT), Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and Jeff Wisoff completed STS-92's fourth and final space walk that prepared the International Space Station for the arrival of its first resident crew and future assembly missions. With the help of Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata, who was operating Space Shuttle Discovery's robot arm, the space walkers removed a grapple fixture from the Z1 Truss; verified the operation of a latch assembly on the Z1; deployed a tray that will provide power to the U.S. Laboratory Destiny; and tested the manual berthing mechanism latches that will support Destiny. Then, Wisoff and Lopez-Alegria tested a small jet pack that could be used if an astronaut's safety tether became disconnected during a space walk at the station.

Also, Commander Brian Duffy and Pilot Pamela Melroy performed the third and final maneuver to raise the station's orbit. They fired Space Shuttle Discovery's reaction control jets 18 times in 30 minutes. The station's orbit has been raised just over 8 kilometers (5 miles) during STS-92.

BBC: Shuttle astronauts make final spacewalk.
CNN: Discovery astronauts wrap final spacewalk
Florida Today: Spacewalkers test jetpack system
Houston Chronicle: Astronauts have a blast on jet packs
UPI: Astronauts perform final spacewalk, jet-pack test
Space.com: Shuttle Astronauts Rehearse Rescue Techniques
Spaceflight Now: Shuttle crew wraps up four grueling days of spacewalks
ABC News: Test Driving Jetpacks
CBS News: Spacewalk No. 4 Goes Smoothly
Fox News: All Work, No Play.


bullet18 October - The last of four EVAs, "designed to set the stage for the arrival of the first resident crew and the future expansion of the International Space Station," is in progress. NASA reports:

Fourth Space Walk Begins
Astronauts Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria have begun the final of four consecutive space walks of STS-92. The space walks began 10:00 a.m. CDT (15:00 GMT). Along with robot arm operator, Koichi Wakata, they will remove a grapple fixture from the Z1 Truss and verify the operation of the latch assembly that will capture the solar array truss when it arrives in December. They will also deploy a tray that will be used to provide power to the U.S. Laboratory "Destiny" when it arrives early next year and test the performance of the manual berthing mechanism latches that will support Destiny.

If time permits, the space walkers will also evaluate two safety protocols - testing a small back pack that could allow an astronaut to navigate back to the station or shuttle if his tether became disconnected and demonstrating techniques for helping an incapacitated space walker.

Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. The NASA TV schedule is available online. The crew activity report from Flight Day 7 is now available. Flight Day 6 imagery is now available.

Today's spacewalk should see the testing of emergency jetpacks and mock-rescue procedures. Also, NASA reports: Space Shuttle Inspection Team Rewarded For Its "Eagle Eyes"

 

bullet17 October 2000 - Update 11PM - Today's EVA, the third in as many days, is complete. NASA reports:

Crew Wraps Up Third Space Walk
Three down, one to go. The third space walk of STS-92 was completed at 4:18 p.m. CDT (21:18 GMT). Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao and Bill McArthur continued work to prepare the International Space Station's Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3, or PMA 3, for future assembly missions.

Mission Specialist Bill McArthur prepares to detach a power converter unit from Discovery's payload bay for installation on the Z1 Truss. Mission Specialist Leroy Chiao (attached to the robotic arm) is ready to assist him. Image courtesy of NASA.The two space walkers connected two power converters on to the Z1 Truss in preparation of the arrival of the U.S. solar arrays in December. Then, they made final power cable connections on the Z1 and PMA 3, which is the station's new docking port. Finally, Chiao and McArthur installed a second toolbox on the side of the Z1.

After today's spacewalk, Discovery Commander Brian Duffy and Pilot Pam Melroy completed the second of the three station reboosts scheduled for STS-92. They fired reaction control system jets in a series of pulses of 1.4 seconds each, over a 30-minute period, gently raising the station's orbit by about 1.7 statute miles.

On Wednesday astronauts Jeff Wisoff and Lopez-Alegria are scheduled to perform the fourth and final space walk of STS-92 beginning at 9:47 a.m. CDT (14:47 GMT). Aside from deploying a Z1 utility tray and opening and closing latches of the Z1 Manual Berthing Mechanism, they will test methods for rescuing an incapacitated astronaut.

During today's spacewalk, a cap for a shuttle depressurization valve floated away, becoming "the latest addition to tiny bodies orbiting the Earth". No big deal, says NASA. Here are today's morning and evening Mission Control Center Status Reports. Lots of new videos and pics at Houston Chronicle and NASA.

Waiting game: What's it like working behind the scenes in the space program? Hear it from a couple of launch engineers!


bullet17 October 2000 - The third of four EVAs is scheduled for today at 10:27AM EDT. Update from this afternoon:

STS-92's Third Space Walk Begins
Mission Specialist Bill McArthur performs a space walk above Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay as he works on the International Space Station's Z1 Truss. This is McArthur's second space walk of the mission and the third for STS-92. Image courtesy of NASA Mission Specialists Bill McArthur and Leroy Chiao began the third space walk of STS-92. The space walking astronauts will continue the outfitting of the Z1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3, or PMA 3, to set the stage for future International Space Station assembly missions. Chiao and McArthur will be assisted by Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata, who will be operating Space Shuttle Discovery's robot arm.

Today's tasks include the installation of two power converters on the Z1 that will process power generated by solar arrays that are scheduled to arrive in December. They will also make final cable connections on the Z1 and PMA 3, which is the station's new docking port. The ninth space walk of the station assembly sequence began at 9:30 a.m. CDT (14:30 GMT).

The latest STS-92 Status Report. The STS-92 crew and Mission Control have answered questions in the Ask the Expert section.

Here are yesterday's morning and evening Mission Control Center Status Reports from JSC, and the latest Shuttle Status Report from KSC.

 

bullet16 October 2000 - Another day, another EVA. The second spacewalk outside the ISS is complete. Today's work by astronauts Jeff Wisoff and Michael Lopez-Alegria involved the installation of PMA-3, the third Pressurized Mating Adapter (docking port) for the station, as well as attaching cables to the Z1 Truss, which was hooked up yesterday. Tight bolts proved troublesome, but the "space construction workers" worked through it. UPI reports that today's EVA lasted about seven hours - 30 minutes longer than scheduled. NASA states:

Second Space Walk Complete
Mission Specialist Michael Lopez-Alegria talks to flight controllers in Houston after completing the second space walk of the STS-92 mission. Image courtesy of NASA.Discovery astronauts Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria successfully completed the second of four scheduled space walks Monday at 4:22 p.m. CDT (21:22 GMT ). After preparing the Z1 Truss for the U.S. solar arrays that will arrive during STS-97, the two space walkers then assisted robotic arm operator, Koichi Wakata, as he attached Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 -- a docking port -- on to the station.

The 6.5-hour space walk began at 9:15 a.m. CDT (14:15 GMT). It is the eighth space walk in space station assembly, the 52nd in space shuttle history and the 91st in the history of the U.S. space program.

As the spacewalk was ending, Discovery Commander Brian Duffy and Pilot Pam Melroy completed the first of three station reboosts scheduled for STS-92. They fired reaction control system jets in 18 pulses of 1.4 seconds each, over a 30-minute period, gently raising the stationís orbit by about 1.7 statute miles.

Yesterday's EVA, by astronauts Leroy Chiao and Bill McArthur, saw the installation of the girder-like Z1 Truss. The spacewalkers' excitement was evident in radio transmissions by the crew. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata operated the Shuttle's Remote Manipulator Arm for both EVAs. From this morning:

Astronauts Prepare for Second Space Walk
Space Shuttle Discovery's crew turns its attention to today's scheduled on-orbit construction activities by Mission Specialists Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria. Mission Specialist Michael Lopez-Alegria leaves Space Shuttle Discovery's airlock and enters the payload bay during the second of four space walks during STS-92. Image courtesy of NASA.The two astronauts are scheduled to begin a planned 6Ĺ-hour space walk about 9:30 CDT (14:30 GMT) this morning to install an additional docking port -- Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 -- and ready the Z1 Truss for installation of the large solar arrays that will be delivered by the next shuttle crew in late November. The first task for Wisoff and Lopez-Alegria will be to release the latches that hold the new docking port in place and to provide Koichi Wakata with visual cues as he uses the robotic arm to gently raise the docking port from its support platform in Discovery's payload bay.

Our resident Shuttle expert, Rick B, passes along this NASA fact:

During the next six years, astronauts and cosmonauts will have to perform nearly 160 spacewalks to assemble the international space station, an awesome challenge even by NASA standards. By comparison, only 51 spacewalks have been conducted in almost 20 years of space shuttle flight -- including Sunday's.

Here are yesterday's morning and evening Mission Control Center Status Reports. Lots of new videos and pics at Houston Chronicle and NASA.

Wrap up last week's space news at Florida Today.

 

 

bullet15 October 2000 - Update 7:45PM EDT - Astronauts McArthur and Chiao  finished the first of 4 scheduled EVAs today shortly before 5PM EDT. NASA reports:

Astronauts Finish First Space Walk
Mission Specialists Bill McArthur (attached to Discovery's robotic arm) and Leroy Chiao (in the top right corner) perform the first space walk of STS-92. They are working outside of the International Space Station's newest addition, the Z1 Truss. Image courtesy of NASA.At 3:55 p.m. CDT (20:55 GMT), Mission Specialists Bill McArthur and Leroy Chiao successfully complete the first space walk of STS-92. They continued work to outfit the Z1 Truss, which was attached to the International Space Station on Saturday. The tasks completed today were the connection of power cables, the repositioning of an antenna and installation of a toolbox. The two space walking astronauts were assisted by Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata who operated Space Shuttle Discovery's robotic arm.

The mission's second space walk is slated to begin Monday at 9:27 a.m. CDT (14:27 GMT) and will be performed by STS-92 Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and Jeff Wisoff. They will connect cables between the station's Unity Connecting Module and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3, which will be installed to Unity using the shuttle's robotic arm on Monday.

STS-92 to Perform 4 Space Walks
STS-92, the 100th space shuttle flight, opens the door for future International Space Station assembly. In order to complete the mission objectives of STS-92, four space walks will be performed. The four space walks are the most scheduled for a shuttle flight during the space station assembly sequence. Also, the fourth space walk will be the 54th space walk in space shuttle history and the 10th outside of the International Space Station.

The astronauts ventured out of the Orbiter at around 10:45 EDT. Tough day at the office!


bullet15 October - The first of 4 EVAs happens this morning. NASA reports:

Crew to Perform First Space Walk
Today, Mission Specialists Bill McArthur and Leroy Chiao will perform the first of four space walks by the STS-92 crew. From left are Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao, Bill McArthur and representing the Japanese Space Agency, Koichi Wakata. Onboard the flight deck, behind the astronauts, are several laptop computers the crew uses to accomplish mission objectives. Image courtesy of NASA. McArthur and Chiao will connect two sets of power cables to provide power to heaters and conduits on the Z1 Truss, which was attached to the International Space Station on Saturday. The Z1 houses the station's motion control gyroscopes and communications equipment. The two astronauts will also relocate two communication antenna assemblies and install a toolbox on the outside of the Z1. Chiao and McArthur will be assisted by Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata, who will operate the Space Shuttle Discovery's robot arm to move the two space walkers around the shuttle's payload bay and outside the space station. The 6.5-hour space walk is scheduled to begin around 9:45 a.m. CDT (14:45 GMT).

Mission Control has answered questions in the Ask the Expert section. Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. The NASA TV schedule is available online.

Here are yesterday's morning and evening Mission Control Center Status Reports. Lots of new videos and pics at Houston Chronicle and NASA.

 

bullet14 October - Update 9PM EDT - Despite the electrical short which knocked out the CanadArm's camera, Discovery's crew was able to attach the Z1 Truss to the rest of the ISS. NASA reports:

Crew Attaches Z1 Truss to Station
At 1:20 p.m. CDT (18:20 GMT), STS-92 Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata of the Japanese Space Agency attached the Z1 Truss to the International Space Station's Unity Connecting Module. The installation process was delayed due to a short in an electrical bus in cabin payload three, which caused the loss of systems that give visual capability to the crew while using the shuttle's robotic arm. The crew performed some maintenance to restore visual capability.

The STS-92 crew uses Space Shuttle Discovery's robotic arm to transfer the Z1 Truss (upper left corner) from the shuttle's payload bay to the International Space Station (pictured just to the right of the Z1). Image courtesy of NASA.Crew members have entered the Z1 Truss to make preparations for Sunday's space walk, which is the first of four space walks scheduled for this mission. The crew will then exit the station around 5 p.m. CDT (22:00 GMT) in order to begin lowering the pressure inside of Discovery, also in preparation for tomorrow's space walk.

Also, flight controllers have decided to postpone the crew's entry into the Zarya Control Module until Flight Day 9.

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, operating the CanadArm, installed the girder-like truss after a delay of 2 hours and 20 minutes. The truss structure weighs x18,400 pounds (8,335 Kg)! Tomorrow, there will be an EVA at 10:32AM EDT. Live video (some of it a series of stills) on NASA TV. Play-by-play at Florida Today.

From KSC: STS-92 was the 100th mission launched in the history of the Shuttle program. In recognition of that milestone, a collection of one photo of each of the 100 launches has been created. See the collection.....


bullet14 October - Update 12:30PM EDT - More on the camera failure. NASA explains:

Short Delays Z1 Truss Installation
Just before 8 a.m. CDT (13:00 GMT) today an electrical short occurred onboard Space Shuttle Discovery, causing a delay in the installation of the Z1 Truss on to the International Space Station. The short occurred in an electrical bus in cabin payload three, and caused the loss of systems that give the visual capability to the crew while using the shuttle's robotic arm during installation. The STS-92 astronauts performed maintenance to restore visual capability for the robot arm operator. Following the maintenance tasks, installation of the Z1 will begin.

The MCC has answered questions in the Ask the Expert section.

Latest Status Report.

Play-by-play at Florida Today.


bullet14 October 2000 - After yesterday's docking, construction is set to begin. NASA states:

Astronauts to Install Z1 Truss
Last night, STS-92 Mission Specialist Michael Lopez-Alegria floats inside the Unity Module. Image courtesy of NASA. Today, the STS-92 crew will install the Z1 Truss on to the International Space Station. The truss contains communications equipment and the station's motion control gyroscopes. The truss will also serve as a mounting platform for large solar arrays that will provide power to the space station. Installation of the Z1 on to the station is slated for 10:02 a.m. CDT (15:02 GMT). A series of space walks will be conducted beginning tomorrow to make the final connections between the Z1 and the station. Later today, the crew will transfer supplies from Discovery to the Zarya Control Module.

Last night, crewmembers entered the Station. 
STS-92 crew members inside the Unity Module. Image courtesy of NASA.
Pictured inside the Unity Module are 
(clockwise from left) 
Mission Specialist Leroy Chiao, 
Commander Brian Duffy, and 
Mission Specialist Michael Lopez-Alegria.

 

Latest reports from this morning indicate that an electrical problem has shorted out a camera needed for operating the Remote Manipulator Arm, (to attach the Z1 Truss). This will delay, but not prevent, construction activities. More news at SpaceRef.com.

 

bullet13 October 2000 - Update 4:30PM - Docking Complete! NASA states:

Discovery Docks with Station
Space Shuttle Discovery has reached its destination and docked with the International Space Station. Discovery docks with the International Space Station at 1:45PM EDT (17:45 GMT) on Friday, Oct. 13. In this picture taken from Discovery, the space station's Pressurized Mating Adapter 2 (top) is attached to the shuttle's docking ring. Image courtesy of NASA. The docking, which occurred at 12:45 p.m. CDT (17:45 GMT), begins a weeklong stay in which the STS-92 astronauts will perform on-orbit assembly of the station. The crew will use Discovery's robotic arm and conduct four space walks to attach Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 and Z1 Truss, a piece of exterior framework, to the station. At docking time, the shuttle and space station were flying over southern Russia, east of the Ukrainian border at 50 degrees 70 minutes north latitude and 42 degrees 10 minutes east longitude. The crew is scheduled to begin entering the station today at 3:47 p.m. CDT (20:47 GMT).

Meanwhile, Discovery continues to operate in good shape except for the Ku-band communications system, which is still not functioning. Engineers continue to review data about the sudden loss of the system that occurred Thursday. No impact to mission objectives is expected.

Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. The NASA TV schedule is available online.

The docking occurred without the aid of the rendezvous radar which the failed Ku-band antenna provides. Station entry starts at 4:47PM EDT.


bullet13 October - Docking Day! NASA states:

Discovery Approaches Station
Docking day has arrived for Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station. At 6:45 CDT this morning, (11:45 GMT), Discovery was located about 1,046 kilometers (650 miles) behind the station and still closing. Docking is scheduled to occur today at 12:46 p.m. CDT (17:46 GMT). Once docked to the station, the STS-92 astronauts will use the shuttle's robotic arm and conduct four space walks to connect a third mating adapter and a piece of exterior framework to the station.

Meanwhile, Discovery's Ku-band communications system is still not functioning, and engineers continue to review data about the sudden loss of the system Thursday. No impact to mission objectives is expected.

STS-92 to Dock with Station Today
The International Space Station continues to orbit the Earth in good condition as it waits for Space Shuttle Discovery, which will deliver the Z1 Truss and third mating adapter. The Z1 Truss is a piece of the station's external framework that will contain the station's motion control gyroscopes and communications equipment. Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Oct. 11 at 6:17 p.m. CDT (23:17 GMT). Discovery will dock with the station at 12:46 p.m. CDT (17:46 GMT) today. While at the station, the STS-92 astronauts will perform four space walks and use the shuttle's robotic arm to attach the Z1 and mating adapter to the station.

Play-by-play for the 1:46PM EDT docking at Florida Today. We hope there will be some TV coverage, but the Ku-band antenna failure may mean that we'll be seeing more Mission Control scenes than shots from orbit!

Did a sharp-eyed launch engineer save the lives of Discovery's crew? NASA is rewarding KSC's Jorge Rivera for his eagle eye. He spotted the loose lock pin that could have resulted in a catastrophe had they launched on Tuesday. You are The Man, Jorge! He received a plaque and has been promised a medal by NASA head Dan Goldin.

 

bullet12 October 2000 - Update 11PM EDT - The crew is now in their sleep shift after completing Flight Day 2, their first full day in orbit. The Ku-band antenna failed at around 10AM EDT today, which may impair some high-speed data transmissions and live TV, but will not impede the mission. The antenna failure has been described as merely a "nuisance" for which there are backup procedures, such as the star tracker navigational devices.  NASA states:

Crew Spends First Full Day in Space
The seven crew members aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery spent their first full day in orbit today checking equipment in preparation for the major events to come: docking with the International Space Station on Friday and, in following days, attaching an exterior framework and additional Shuttle docking port to the orbiting outpost.

The crew found everything in good shape aboard the Shuttle, although a failure in one of Discovery's communications systems may prevent Mission Control from visually following many of the crew's activities through live television.

Discovery will dock with the station at 12:45 p.m. CDT (17:45 GMT) Oct. 13. While at the station, the STS-92 astronauts will perform four space walks and use the shuttle's robotic arm to attach the Z1 and mating adapter to the station. The STS-92 Press Kit is now available online.

More on the antenna failure from NASA:

STS-92 Continues, TV Signal on the Blink
Television signals from space shuttle mission STS-92 abruptly stopped this afternoon leaving interested viewers with sequential still images that refresh every 10-15 seconds and computer generated images based on telemetry. Mission managers called loss of the TV signal an irritant and emphasized that it will not affect tomorrow's planned rendezvous and docking with the International Space Station, nor the planned spacewalks. Occasional loss of the Ku band signal that carries television images is not unusual. Positioning of the space shuttle relative to the relay satellites affects the availability of the signal for short periods on most flights. In this case, technical experts are troubleshooting the cause of the problem and cannot yet say when or if live downlink television capability will be restored.

The crew spoke with Japanese dignitaries (since crew member Koichi Wakata is the first Japanese astronaut to visit the ISS), and made preparations for tomorrow's rendezvous and Sunday's EVA. Wake-up time tomorrow is 5:17AM EDT. Video clips of yesterday's launch are available at NASA, CBS, BBC, Spaceflight Now, and Houston Chronicle. Play-by-play at Florida Today, CBS, Spaceflight Now, and Space.com.


bullet12 October - Shuttle Discovery is orbiting the Earth, on its way to a rendezvous with the ISS. NASA states:

Discovery Chases Space Station
Space Shuttle Discovery and the STS-92 crew began their first full day in space at 7:17 CDT (12:17 GMT) this morning and continued their chase of the International Space Station. Discovery will dock with the station Friday at 12:43 p.m. CDT (17:43 GMT). While at the station, the crew will use the shuttle's robot arm and conduct four space walks to attach a piece of exterior framework and third docking port to the station.

Twin columns of flame from the solid rocket boosters illuminate the clouds of smoke and steam as Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off on mission STS-92, the fifth construction flight for the International Space Station. The perfect on-time launch occurred Oct. 11 at 7:17PM EDT (23:17 GMT) at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Photo courtesy of NASA.Today, Commander Brian Duffy and Pilot Pamela Melroy will continue a series of engine firings in preparation for the rendezvous and docking with the space station. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew will prepare for the four space walks and power up the robotic arm.

Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. Today at 4:57 p.m. CDT (21:57 GMT), the STS-92 crew will receive a congratulatory call from Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Tadamori Oshima, the minister of the Science and Technology Agency. The NASA TV schedule is available online.

More about Flight Day 2 from NASA...

Discovery Crew Begins First Full Day in Orbit
After waking up to the strains of "Incense and Peppermints" by the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery began preparations for their Friday rendezvous with the International Space Station. Commander Brian Duffy and Pilot Pamela Melroy will maneuver the Shuttle to refine its orbit, while other crew members check out space suits and the Shuttle's robotic arm in preparation for upcoming spacewalks.

 

bullet11 October 2000 - Update 9:10PM EDT - Discovery is up!!! This marks the 100th flight of the Shuttle program (the 28th for Discovery). At this writing, Mission Control reports that the Ku-band antenna is being deployed, which will allow high-speed data and TV transmission from orbit. NASA reports:

Discovery Blasts Off to Begin STS-92
At 6:17 p.m. CDT (23:17 GMT), Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin STS-92, an assembly mission to the International Space Station. STS-92 will open the door for future station assembly missions by delivering a third docking port and a piece of exterior framework that will house communications equipment and the station's motion control system. Discovery is scheduled to dock with the space station at 12:43 p.m. CDT (17:43 GMT) Friday.

At the time of launch, the space station was located at 12 degrees 18 minutes south latitude and 84 degrees 49 minutes east longitude, which placed the station over the Bay of Bengal, due east of Madras, India.

The STS-92 Press Kit is now available online.

Reports indicate that the launch was visible well up the Eastern seaboard! NASA states:

Shuttle Launch Captured from Mid-Atlantic
Shuttle launch as seen from Maryland. Image courtesy of NASA/George Varros.The image to the left is a screen capture from a video of the Space Shuttle Discovery shortly after its launch on October 11. The photographer, a NASA contractor, was shooting from Mount Airy, Maryland, about 30 miles north of Washington, DC, and approximately 900 miles from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The night-time launch went off perfectly. Docking with the International Space Station is now scheduled for this Friday, 13 Oct 2000 at 1:43PM EDT (1743 GMT). Latest KSC Shuttle Status Report here.
UPI: Discovery launched on 100th space shuttle mission
Fox News: Discovery Launches Wednesday Night After Myriad Delays
Florida Today/AP: Discovery thunders into orbit
Houston Chronicle: Shuttle heads for space station

bullet11 October 2000 - Another launch attempt. Yesterday's scrub was due to a large metal pin left resting on a launchpad oxygen line. If they had launched while that thing was still there, it could have been disastrous! NASA reports:

Discovery Back on Schedule after Delay
Following a 24-hour delay due to a loose metal pin, Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., today at 7:17 p.m. EDT. Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver the Z1 Truss to the International Space Station. The Z1 contains motion control and communications equipment for the station. Forecasts indicate a 60-percent chance of favorable weather for tonight's launch. The launch will be carried live on NASA TV. In addition, Space Team Online will provide video programming including webchats to answer questions about the mission and the liftoff itself, beginning 90 minutes prior.

STS-92 Slated to Launch Today
Following a 24-hour delay due to a loose metal pin, Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., today at 6:17 p.m. CDT (23:17 GMT). Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver the Z1 Truss to the International Space Station. The Z1 contains motion control and communications equipment for the station. Forecasts indicate a 60-percent chance of favorable weather for tonight's launch. At the time of Wednesday's launch, the space station will be located at 12 degrees 18 minutes south latitude and 84 degrees 49 minutes east longitude, which places the station over the Bay of Bengal, due east of Madras, India.

STS-92 Launch Web Chat
Live from the press site at Kennedy Space Center, NASA Quest brings you the excitement of the launch of STS-92 with a Web Chat with Joe Delai, a NASA mechanical engineer who will give an overview of the space station. Programming will begin one hour before launch, beginning at 5:17 p.m. CDT (22:17GMT).

As of 5:15PM EDT, the crew has been loaded onto Discovery and the hatches are closed. Follow the play-by-play at Florida Today and Spaceflight NowNASA TV coverage starts at 2PM EDT. Check back with us tonight for more news!

 

bullet10 October 2000 - Update 10PM EDT - SCRUB!!! A new mechanical problem has arisen. NASA explains:

Managers Delay Launch of STS-92
During the post-scrub status briefing Tuesday, Ron Dittemore, shuttle program manager, holds a replica of the metal pin that was found resting on a oxygen feed line between the external tank and the orbiter's aft compartment. Image courtesy of NASA.NASA managers delayed the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery due to a metal pin resting on an oxygen feed line running between the external fuel tank and the aft compartment of the orbiter. Tuesday night, the Rotating Service Structure will be wrapped around Discovery to enable workers to remove the pin, which is a piece of equipment used to raise platforms used by workers to gain access to the aft part of the shuttle for maintenance. STS-92 will deliver a piece of exterior framework and a third mating adapter to the International Space Station. Liftoff is now scheduled for Oct. 11 at 6:17 p.m. CDT (23:17 GMT).

At the time of Wednesday's launch, the space station will be located at 12 degrees 18 minutes south latitude and 84 degrees 49 minutes east longitude, which places the station over the Bay of Bengal, due east of Madras, India.

Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see continuing coverage of STS-92. Launch coverage begins Wednesday at 1 p.m. CDT (18:00 GMT). The NASA TV schedule is available online.

CNN: Stray equipment left on pad forces delay
BBC: Loose pin thwarts Discovery launch
MSNBC: Stray piece forces delay of launch
Florida Today: Out of place 8-ounce pin delays 100th shuttle mission
UPI: Metal pin forces one more shuttle delay
Houston Chronicle: Mystery pin delays Discovery's launch

bullet10 October - Update 4:30PM EDT - Discovery is fueling up for tonight's 7:40PM EDT launch! The countdown is underway. NASA reports:

STS-92 Slated to Launch Today
Following a 24-hour delay due to high winds, Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., today at 6:40 p.m. CDT (23:40 GMT). Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver the Z1 Truss to the International Space Station. The Z1 contains motion control and communications equipment for the station. The countdown for STS-92 resumed this morning at 3:45 CDT (09:45 GMT) at T minus 11 hours. Forecasts indicate a 30-percent chance of favorable weather for tonight's launch.

When STS-92 launches, the International Space Station will be located 39 degrees 10 minutes north latitude and 64 degrees 54 minutes west longitude, which is north of Bermuda and due east of Baltimore, Md.

And later...

Discovery Go for Launch as Weather Threatens
Discovery's astronauts suited up for flight this afternoon for a scheduled launch at 7:40 p.m. EDT tonight. Forecasts indicate a 50 percent chance of favorable weather for launch. The 11-day mission was delayed by 24 hours yesterday due to high winds. The seven-member crew's mission is the delivery of the Z1 Truss to the International Space Station. The Z1 contains motion control and communications equipment for the station. The launch will be carried live on NASA TV. In addition, Space Team Online will provide video programming including webchats to answer questions about the mission and the liftoff itself, beginning 90 minutes prior.

Florida Today reports that weather has improved to a 50% chance of favorable conditions (up from 30%).  NASA TV coverage available now. KSC Webcast tonight around 6:40PM EDT. More play-by-play at Space.com. This will be the 28th flight for Discovery, and the 100th flight of the entire program. Check back with us tonight for more news!


bullet10 October - Let's try that again - launch tonight! NASA reports:

Discovery Headed toward Launch after Monday Scrub
The Space Shuttle Discovery is scheduled for a 7:40 p.m. EDT launch today following Monday's launch scrub. NASA managers decided to forego the launch attempt because high winds prevented the ground crew from fuelling the Shuttle's external tank. Weather continues to be a concern for getting the 11-day mission to the International Space Station underway.

Winds still threaten tonight's flight - but there will be two more opportunities this week. Launch managers are deciding on whether to commence tanking this morning. Follow the play-by-play at Florida Today and Spaceflight NowNASA TV coverage starts at 2PM EDT. Check back with us tonight for more news!

 

bullet9 October 2000 - Shuttle launch scrubbed again! NASA reports:

Discovery Launch Delayed Until Tuesday
Monday, NASA managers delayed the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery until Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 6:40 p.m. CDT (23:40 GMT) due to high winds at the 39A launch complex. The high winds prevented the extension of the Gaseous Oxygen Vent Arm, or "beanie", preventing tanking operations. Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver a piece of external framework and third mating adapter to the International Space Station.

Mechanical problems were to blame for last week's delays, unlike today's weather-related issues. You try keeping your beanie cap on in 50-MPH winds!

Wrap up last week's space news at Florida Today.

 

bullet8 October 2000 - Update 8PM EDT - Go for launch! NASA reports:

Discovery Go for a Monday Launch
STS-92 is scheduled to launch no earlier than Oct. 9 at 7:05 p.m. CDT (Oct. 10 at 00:05 GMT). Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver a piece of external framework and third mating adapter to the International Space Station. Saturday, workers completed the replacement of a suspect "pogo suppression valve" on the Space Shuttle Discovery. In addition, managers and engineers have reviewed the situation with the separation bolt and concluded that Space Shuttle Discovery was safe for flight.

Watch the webcast Monday night - if the weather cooperates...


bullet8 October - Discovery's faulty "pogo suppression valve" has been replaced, and the explosive bolts declared fit to fly. Monday's launch is still in question, though - weather is only 30% favorable.

Test your mission knowledge and become eligible to win a VIP Visitor's Packet from NASA! Take the STS-92 Mission Quiz!

 

bullet7 October 2000 - Shuttle Discovery will visit the ISS on mission STS-92 next week, but they will leave the station vacant until the end of this month. NASA reports:

Station's First Resident Crew to Hold News Conference Oct. 9
The International Space Station's first resident crew, Expedition 1, will hold a prelaunch news conference at 8 a.m. CDT (13:00 GMT) Monday, Oct. 9, in Star City, Russia. The three-member crew is scheduled to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Oct. 30 and dock with the station on Nov. 1. The Oct. 9 news conference will be carried by NASA TV via streaming video. The NASA TV Schedule is available online.

Meanwhile, the space station continues to orbit the Earth in good condition as it waits for Space Shuttle Discovery, which will deliver the Z1 Truss. The Z1 Truss is a piece of the station's external framework that will contain the station's motion control gyroscopes and communications equipment. Discovery is slated to lift off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., no earlier than Oct. 9.

Just what exactly is this "bolt problem" that is keeping the Shuttle grounded until Monday? Here's a graphic explaining it all.

 

bullet6 October 2000 - 10PM EDT Update - More news on the correction of two problems causing the launch delay. NASA reports:

Workers to Replace Suspect Valve
STS-92 is scheduled to launch no earlier than Oct. 9 at 7:05 p.m. CDT (Oct. 10 at 00:05 GMT). Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver a piece of external framework and third mating adapter to the International Space Station. Friday, workers at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., wrapped the Rotating Service Structure back around Space Shuttle Discovery so a suspect "pogo suppression valve" can be replaced. Replacement efforts are slated to begin Friday afternoon. On the morning of Oct. 9, shuttle managers will review the situation with the valve and a potential problem with a separation bolt when the orbiter and external tank separate during flight. Forecasts indicate a 30-percent chance of favorable weather for an Oct. 9 launch.

The STS-92 Press Kit is now available online. Preflight mission videos are now available illustrating the activities for the upcoming STS-92 mission. Also, the STS-92 training images are available in the Gallery.

Latest KSC Shuttle Status Report here.


bullet6 October - More on the second launch rescheduling. NASA reports:

Discovery Launch on Hold until at Least Oct. 9
Shuttle managers announced Thursday that Shuttle Discovery will launch no earlier than Monday. Over the weekend, workers will enter Discovery's aft compartment to troubleshoot and replace a problematic valve on the orbiter's main propulsion system. Engineers also will continue to evaluate a problem with a protruding bolt that caused an initial 24-hour delay from Thursday's planned launch. NASA managers will hold a televised news conference at 10 a.m. EDT Friday to discuss the situation.

Latest KSC Shuttle Status Report here.

 

bullet5 October - Update 9:30PM EDT: Florida Today reveals that the new launch date is now Monday, 9 Oct 2000, at 8:05PM EDT.

Shuttle managers will delay Discovery's launch ... to allow engineers time to understand why a bolt did not fully retract as the external tank separated from the orbiter on the last shuttle mission. Managers will meet tomorrow morning to decide if the troubleshooting operation overnight has allayed potential concerns.

The reason for the additional delay to Monday is the swap-out of the sluggish "liquid oxygen pogo valve". Spaceflight Now has updated status.


bullet5 October - Update 6PM EDT: The launch is scrubbed for today! There are two issues here - and neither one is the weather. NASA reports:

Managers Delay STS-92 Launch
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., NASA managers decided to delay the launch of STS-92 by 24 hours in order to evaluate a potential problem with a bolt during the separation of the orbiter from the external tank. Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew is now scheduled to lift off at 8:16 p.m. CDT Friday (01:16 GMT Saturday). If analysis of the technical issue clears Discovery for launch, workers will begin fueling the external tank at about 11 a.m. CDT Friday (16:00 GMT). STS-92 will deliver a piece of external framework and a third pressurized mating adapter to the International Space Station.

Besides the bolt problem with the ET, this afternoon's Shuttle Status Report discusses a sluggish valve that controls propellant rate. If that needs to be replaced, the next launch attempt could be pushed back even further. For now, the next attempt is scheduled for 9:16PM EDT tomorrow. Follow the play-by-play at Florida Today.
Washington Post: NASA Postpones Space Shuttle Mission.


bullet5 October 2000 - NASA doesn't seem to think the 100th Shuttle mission is a big deal, but we are amazed that the system keeps delivering, year after year. Here's the latest from NASA:

Launch Day Nears for STS-92
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the countdown began at 11:01 p.m. CDT Monday for the launch of STS-92, a mission to the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member flight crew will deliver a third mating adapter and a piece of the station's exterior framework that will contain motion control and communications equipment. According to the weather forecast, there is a 60-percent chance of favorable conditions for launch.

The International Space Station will be 7,223 kilometers (3,900 nautical miles) ahead of Discovery when it launches at 8:38 p.m. CDT Thursday (01:38 GMT Friday). The station be located over the North Atlantic Ocean west of Cork, Ireland, at 51.32 degrees north latitude and 16.53 degrees west longitude.

Watch streaming video on NASA TV to see the launch of STS-92. Launch coverage begins Thursday at 3 p.m. CDT (20:00 GMT). The NASA TV schedule is available online.

Weather is improving, and tanking should begin this afternoon.

 

bullet4 October 2000 - Despite a soaking rain, launch preparations continue. NASA reports on the countdown:

Launch Countdown Begins for STS-92
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the launch countdown for STS-92, a mission to the International Space Station, began at 11:01 p.m. CDT Monday at the T minus 43-hour mark. Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member flight crew will deliver a third mating adapter and a piece of the station's exterior framework that will contain motion control and communications equipment. Sunday night, the flight crew arrived at Kennedy Space Center. At Launch Pad 39A, preparations for Thursday's scheduled liftoff continue on schedule. According to the weather forecast, there is a 60-percent chance of favorable conditions for launch on Thursday.

Mission Managers Studying Weather Forecast
Weather is the wildcard for Thursday night's planned launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-92. The goal of this mission, the Shuttle Program's 100th flight, is to install hardware components on the International Space Station in preparation for the arrival of the first permanent crew next month. The probability of launch on October 5, at 9:39 p.m., is 60 percent. Mission managers will decide tomorrow whether conditions preclude going for launch as planned.

The STS-92 Press Kit is now available online.

Did you know? Discovery pilot Pam Melroy is only the third woman to pilot a Space Shuttle. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in the USAF.

 

bullet3 October 2000 - SpaceRef.com and Space.com have their STS-92 sections up. The countdown to Thursday's launch is underway! Discovery's crew arrived at KSC yesterday. Weather is a concern - there is a 40% chance of a launch scrub. NASA reports:

At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the countdown starts for the launch of STS-92, an assembly mission to the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew are slated to lift off Thursday at 8:38 p.m. CDT (01:38 GMT).

This will be the 100th flight of the nearly two-decade-old Space Shuttle program. Check out NASA's "100 Mission Viewer!"

 

bullet2 October 2000 - Lots of Shuttle stories at Florida Today. Who's on the crew of STS-92 (hey, that rhymes!)? Find out here. This will be Discovery's 5th mission to the ISSCount down to Thursday's launch - the 100th flight of the Shuttle program! NASA reports:

Discovery Crew to Install Pivotal Station Hardware
The seven crewmembers of STS-92 are scheduled to liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center, FL, on Thursday night aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. The astronauts' principal task on this assembly flight is the installation of the Z-1 truss, hardware that will house the station's motion control gyroscopes and communications equipment, and a third docking port. This is the final Shuttle flight to the Station before the arrival of the first permanent crew, Expedition 1, in November.

STS-92 Launch Countdown Set to Begin Monday Night at KSC
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the launch countdown for STS-92, a mission to the International Space Station, is scheduled to begin at 11:01 p.m. CDT Monday at the T minus 43-hour mark. Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member flight crew will deliver a third mating adapter and a piece of the station's exterior framework that will contain motion control and communications equipment. Sunday night, the flight crew arrived at Kennedy Space Center. At Launch Pad 39A, preparations for Thursday's scheduled liftoff continue on schedule. According to the weather forecast, there is a 60-percent chance of favorable conditions for launch.

NASA is entering their busiest launch cycle ever, with Shuttle flights expected seven or eight times a year for the next few years. UPI recounts the highs and lows of the program here. Monday's KSC Shuttle Status Report is here.

 

bullet1 October 2000 - The Houston Chronicle has their STS-92 section up, featuring the arrival of the crew at KSC. NASA describes the mission:

Discovery Set to Launch Next Week
A night shot of a Shuttle on the Launchpad. Photo courtesy of NASA.NASA managers have set Oct. 5 as the launch date for Space Shuttle Discovery on a mission that will initiate the heart of construction for the International Space Station. Astronauts will connect a nine-ton exterior framework and an additional docking port to the orbiting complex. Launch of STS-92, the 100th Space Shuttle mission, is targeted for 9:38 p.m. EDT from the Kennedy Space Center, FL. The launch window is just five minutes long. The exterior framework that will be attached to the expanding Station, called the Z1 truss, will house gyroscopes and communications equipment that will provide a future sense of balance for the outpost as well as enhanced voice and television capability.

Friday's KSC Shuttle Status Report is here.

 

bullet29 September 2000 - Discovery's launch confirmed for Thursday, 5 Oct 2000. This will mark the 100th flight of the Space Shuttle! NASA reports:

NASA Managers Select Oct. 5 as Official Launch Date for STS-92
The STS-92 crew poses for a photo at Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Standing, left to right, are Pilot Pamela Ann Melroy, Commander Brian Duffy and Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria, Peter J.K."Jeff" Wisoff, Leroy Chiao, William S. McArthur Jr. and Koichi Wakata. Photo courtesy of NASA.Following Thursday's Flight Readiness Review, NASA managers announced Oct. 5 as the official launch date for STS-92, which will begin the "build up" of the International Space Station by setting the stage for future assembly missions. Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver the Z1 Truss, which is a piece of exterior framework that will house the station's motion control gyroscopes and communications equipment, and a third docking port.

STS-92 Preparations Continue at KSC
As the Oct. 5 launch date of STS-92, an assembly mission to the International Space Station, approaches, prelaunch processing of Space Shuttle Discovery continues at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Another Helium Signature Test [Tuesday] confirms that repairs of a leak on Discovery's main propulsion system were successful.

Meanwhile at Launch Pad 39A, workers completed installation of the shuttle's explosive bolts on Wednesday. The orbiter aft compartment closeouts and the main engine flight readiness test continue.

Remember, the ISS is big enough to be seen from the ground now. Track it here. Thursday's KSC Shuttle Status Report here.

 

bullet28 September 2000 - Discovery leak re-test successful - NASA states:

Leak Repairs Successful
At Kennedy Space Center, prelaunch processing continues for Space Shuttle Discovery, which is scheduled to launch Oct. 5. Discovery and its seven-member crew will deliver a piece of the exterior framework and a third mating adapter to the International Space Station. Tuesday at Launch Pad 39A, engineers conducted another Helium Signature Test, which confirmed that the efforts to repair leaks on Discovery's orbiter propulsion system were successful. Currently, workers are performing aft compartment closeouts on the orbiter and preparations for Thursday's installation of the explosive bolts are under way.

 

bullet27 September 2000 - Next ISS mission: STS-92. - NASA states:

Space Station in Good Shape; Controllers Prepare for STS-92
International Space Station flight controllers have begun preparing for the arrival of STS-92. The station continues to orbit the Earth in good condition as it waits for Space Shuttle Discovery, which will deliver the Z1 Truss. The Z1 Truss is a piece of the station's external framework that will contain the station's motion control gyroscopes and will deliver communications equipment. Also, managers gave the go-ahead for Discovery to deliver additional electronics equipment for the station's batteries. Discovery and its seven-member crew are scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Oct. 5 and dock with the station on Oct. 7.

Pre-flight images available at NASA.

 

bullet25 September 2000 - A few more STS-92 articles in last week's Florida Today.

 

bullet18 September 2000 - Plenty of STS-92 news in last week's Florida Today.

 

bullet17 September 2000 - Hurricane Gordon not tough enough to send Discovery running! NASA reports:

Discovery Remains on Launch Pad
Shuttle Program managers elected to leave Discovery on the launch pad based on the expected path of Tropical Storm Gordon.

 

bullet16 September 2000 - Next mission: Discovery to the ISS. NASA reports:

Crew Completes Countdown Test
At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., preparations continue for the launch of STS-92, which will deliver the Z1 Truss, Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 and four Control Moment Gyros to the International Space Station. Friday, the STS-92 flight crew completed the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. Late Friday, workers were scheduled to resume efforts to replace transducer seals on Space Shuttle Discovery's orbiter maneuvering system, and completion of the replacement of a fuel line on the orbiter's Auxiliary Power Unit No. 2 was slated to occur over the weekend.

 

bullet14 September 2000 - Here's the latest Shuttle Status Report from KSC.

 

bullet12 September 2000 - Shuttle Discovery arrived at Pad 39A on Monday, in preparation for next month's STS-92 flight - the 100th Shuttle mission! NASA reports:

As the sun rises from below the horizon on the right, Space Shuttle Discovery crawls up to Launch Pad 39A and its resting spot next to the Fixed Service Structure, which is seen on the left. Photo coutesy of NASA.At Kennedy Space Center, Fla., preparations are under way for STS-92, a mission to deliver the Z-1 Truss and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 to the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Discovery left the Vehicle Assembly Building and rolled to Launch Pad 39A on Monday morning. The Z-1 Truss is scheduled to arrive at the launch pad Wednesday for installation into Discoveryís payload bay. The STS-92 flight crew will participate in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test on Sept. 14-15.

Here's the latest Shuttle Status Report from Kennedy Space Center.

 

bullet11 September 2000 - While Shuttle Atlantis orbits the Earth at 17000MPH, Shuttle Discovery is moving a little more slowly - it has begun its 1MPH trek to the launch pad, and should arrive by sunrise.

 

bullet9 September 2000 - Discovery prepping for next month's launch. NASA reports:

STS-92 Crew Completes Countdown Test
Preparations are under way at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., for the launch of STS-92, which will be the fifth shuttle assembly mission to the International Space Station. The flight crew participated in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test on Thursday and Friday.

 

bullet8 September 2000 - NASA News:

STS-92 to Visit Station
STS-92 will begin the "heart" of station construction in orbit, attaching two major components. Discovery will deliver an exterior framework called the Z1 Truss and a third mating adapter. The new truss houses four gyroscope devices that will become the station's primary "sense of balance," and Ku-Band communications equipment. The truss contains parts of both systems, but the full systems will not become active until STS-102. The crew will attach the truss and mating adapter using the robotic arm, and then the astronauts will perform four space walks to hook up electrical lines, computer connections and other finish work. STS-92 will be the 100th shuttle flight.

Latest Shuttle Status Report from KSC.

 

bullet7 September 2000 - Here is tonight's Shuttle Status Report

 

bullet6 September 2000 - Wedneday's KSC Shuttle Status report here

 

bullet5 September 2000 - Tuesday's KSC Shuttle Status report here.

 

bullet4 September 2000 - Happy Labor Day! - Now that the ISS is ready for long-term habitation, NASA is is getting ready for a series of Shuttle launches to the Station. Three missions remain for this year, with more in quick succession for years to come.

 

bullet2 September 2000 - Shuttle Discovery, set to launch next month, will remain in the gigantic Vehicle Assemble Building until after Atlantis' launch next week. This will keep the spacecraft safe during Florida's unpredictable hurricane season.

 

bullet1 September 2000 - Shuttle Status Report from KSC is here. To go further back, see the August 2000 News Archive. Orbiter processing has been going on for Discovery since way back in January.

 

 

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