Carried IML-2; microgravity, biology experiments. Payloads: International Microgravity Laboratory (IML) 2, Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE), Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS), Military Applications of Ship Tracks (MAST), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment (SAREX).
Orbits of Earth: 236. Distance traveled: 9,816,998 km. Orbiter Liftoff Mass: 117,177 kg. Orbiter Mass at Landing: 104,107 kg. Payload to Orbit: 10,811 kg. Payload Returned: 10,811 kg. Landed at: Concrete runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center, Florid. Landing Speed: 383 kph. Touchdown miss distance: 913 m. Landing Rollout: 3,112 m.
Mission Name: STS-65 (63)
Pad 39-A (51)
63rd Shuttle Mission
17th Flight OV-102
8th Night Launch
Longest STS mission to date
KSC Landing (21)
Robert D. Cabana (3), Commander
James D. Halsell (1), Pilot
Richard J. Hieb (3), Payload Commander
Carl E. Walz (2), Mission specialist 2
Leroy Chiao (1), Mission Specialist 3
Donald A. Thomas (1), Mission Specialist 4
Chiaki Naito-Mukai (1), Payload Specialist 1
Jean-Jacques Favier (0), Alternate Payload Specialist (CNES)
OPF 2 -- 3/18/94
VAB HB1 -- 6/8/94 6:48pm EDT (Rollover began at 6:07pm)
IVT -- 6/13/94
PAD 39A -- 6/15/94 5:42am EDT (Rollout began at 11:26pm)
TCDT -- 6/21/94 to 6/22/94
The International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) is the second in a series of Spacelab (SL) flights designed to conduct research in a microgravity environment. The IML concept enables a scientist to apply results from one mission to the next and to broaden the scope and variety of investigations between missions. Data from the IML missions contributes to the research base for the space station.
As the name implies, IML-2 is an international mission. Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA), Canada, France, Germany and Japan are all collaborating with NASA on the IML-2 mission to provide the worldwide science community with a variety of complementary facilities and experiments. These facilities and experiments are mounted in twenty 19" racks in the IML 2 Module.
Research on IML-2 is dedicated to microgravity and life sciences. Microgravity science covers a broad range of activities from undestanding the fundamental physics involved in material behavior to using those effects to generate materials that cannot otherwise be made in the gravitational environment of the Earth. In life sciences research, a reduction of gravitation's effect allows certain characteristics of cells and organisms to be studied in isolation. These reduced gravitational effects also pose poorly understood occupational health problems for space crews ranging from space adaptation syndrome to long-term hormonal changes. On IML-2, the microgravity science and life sciences experiments are complementary in their use of SL resources. Microgravity science tends to draw heavily on spacecraft power while life sciences places the greatest demand on crew time.
Life Sciences Experiments and facilities on IML-2 include: Aquatic Animal Experiment Unit (AAEU) in Rack 3, Biorack (BR) in Rack 5, Biostack (BSK) in Rack 9, Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Program (EDOMP) and Spinal Changes in Microgravity (SCM) in the Center Isle, Lower Body Negative Pressure Device (LBNPD), Microbial Air Sampler (MAS), Performance Assessment Workstation (PAWS) in the middeck, Slow Rotating Centrifuge Microscope (NIZEMI) in Rack 7, Real Time Radiation Monitoring Device (RRMD) and the Thermoelectric Incubator (TEI) both in Rack 3.
Microgravity experiments and facilities on IML-2 include: Applied Research on Separation Methods (RAMSES) in Rack 6, Bubble, Drop and Particle Unit (BDPU) in Rack 8, Critical Point Facility (CPF) in Rack 9, Electromagnetic Containerless Processing Facility (TEMPUS) in Rack 10, Free Flow Electrophoresis Unit (FFEU) in Rack 3, Large Isothermal Furnace (LIF) in Rack 7, Quasi Steady Acceleration Measurement (QSAM) in Rack 3, Space Acceleration Measurement System (SAMS) in the Center Isle, and Vibration Isolation Box Experiment System (VIBES) in Rack 3.
Other payloads on this mission are: Advanced Protein Crystalization Facility (APCF) , Commercial Protein Crystal Growth (CPCG), Air Force Maui Optical Site (AMOS) Calibration Test, Orbital Acceleration Research Experiment (OARE), Military Application of Ship Tracks (MAST), Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment-II (SAREX-II). Columbia is also flying with an Extended Duration Orbiter (ED0) pallet and no RMS Arm was installed. This is also the 1st flight of the payload bay door torque box modification on Columbia and the 1st flight of new OI-6 main engine software.
Friday, July 8, 1994 at 12:43:00.069am EDT. The launch occured exactly on time at the beginning of a 2.5 hour launch window. The countdown progressed smoothly but was held at the T-9 min mark due to a Return to Launch Site (RTLS) weather constraint. The count was restarted with the intent to hold again at the T-5 min mark if there were still constraints. The low pressure heated ground purge in the SRB aft skirt was not required to maintain the case/nozzle joint temperatures within the required LCC ranges. The purge was activated at T-26 minutes for the high flow rate inerting of the SRB aft skirt.
The weather constraint was cleared at 12:36am leading to an ontime liftoff. Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) sites were Banjul, Gambia (Prime), Ben Guerir, Morocco (Alternate). Preliminary data indicates that the flight performance of both RSRMs was well within the allowable performance envelopes, and was typical of the performance observed on previous flights. The RSRM propellant mean bulk temperature (PMBT) was 81 degrees F at liftoff. Onorbit APU shutdown commenced at 12:58 EDT while Columbia was in an initial transfer orbit of 78nm over the Atlantic.
Personnel aboard the solid rocket booster retrieval ships spotted the boosters soon after splashdown and were on station at about 1:15 p.m. EDT to begin recovery operations.
Altitude: 160 nm (184 sm)
Inclination: 28.45 degrees
Duration: 14 days, 17 hours, 55 minutes, 00 seconds.
Distance: 6,143,000 miles
ET : ET-64
SSME-1: SN-2019 (30 starts, 11,216 sec)
SSME-2: SN-2030 (30 starts, 9,453 secs)
SSME-3: SN-2017 (18 starts, 6,639 secs)
KSC, July 23 at 6:38:01 am EDT on Kennedy Space Center
Shuttle Landing Facility Runway 33. Columbia landed on the 1st of two landing opportunities (6:38 EDT or 8:13 am EDT). Backup landing opportunity would have been at Edwards at 8:39am EDT. Nose Wheel touchdown was at 6:38:18 am EDT and wheel stop at 6:39:09 EDT. This gives the crew of Columbia the distinction of being the longest Shuttle mission to date (surpassing Columbias SLS-2 launch aboard STS-58 on 10/18/93) and the longest duration US space mission since the 84 day Skylab SL-4 mission by Gerald P. Carr, William R. Pogue and Edward G. Gibson on 2/8/74.
The two landing opportunities for Columbia at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility on 7/22/94 (at 6:47 a.m. EDT and 8:23 a.m. EDT) were waived due to cloud cover east of the runway that was expected to drift over the SLF. Weather at Edwards was favorable but flight controllers decided to keep Columbia in orbit one extra day and try for a KSC landing on 7/23/94. Mission Highlights:
On Friday, July 8, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #1 reports: Carrying IML-2, Columbia is now in a 163 by 160 nautical mile orbit. Onboard, the Red Team crew members -- Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot James D. Halsell, Payload Commander Richard J. Hieb and Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Naito-Mukai -- are in the last half of their first work shift of the two-week mission. Their crew mates -- Blue Team members Donald A. Thomas, Leroy Chiao and Carl E. Walz -- are in the midst of a six- hour sleep period and will take over duties aboard at 10:28 p.m. for a 12-hour shift. Late in the afternoon, commander Robert D. Cabana played a videotape of Columbia's cockpit recorded during the liftoff and climb to orbit for flight controllers in Mission Control, describing the ascent as the tape played.
On Saturday, July 9, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #2 reports: The Blue Team astronauts -- Mission Specialists Carl Walz, Don Thomas and Leroy Chiao -- began the first shift of operational research after the Red Team -- Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai -- powered up International Microgravity Lab-2 and checked out the lab's equipment. As the Blue Team works, the Red team is awakening after an 8-hour sleep shift.
While Chiao and Thomas worked in the Spacelab module tucked in Columbia's payload bay, Walz took care of orbiter housekeeping chores, and performed the first run on the Performance Assessment Workstation, or PAWS. Using graphic input devices that coincide with targets on a computer screen, crew members will record the effects of microgravity on the cognitive skills required for successful performance of many tasks during the mission. The laptop computer will record the speed and accuracy of the cursor movements, and the time required to interpret the displayed instruction throughout the flight. On Saturday July 9, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #3 reports: Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell managed activities in the crew compartment of the orbiter while the rest of the Red Team, consisting of Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai, spent their first full day in space working in the laboratory.
Other than a short-lived problem with the bathroom aboard Columbia, all vehicle systems are performing well, with no problems being tracked by flight controllers in Mission Control. The Waste Containment System, or WCS, experienced a problem with the solid waste compactor piston when the unit became stuck briefly. Halsell worked a procedure to check the unit and it has functioned fine since. Inside the Spacelab module, the astronaut team is working on a system that relays Japanese life-sciences experiment data to scientists on the ground. One data channel on the radiation monitoring experiment was not functioning properly.
Cabana hooked up the onboard ham radio, called SAREX for Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment and talked with middle school students at the Bair Middle School in Sunrise, Florida.
On Sunday, July 10, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #4 reported: The Red Team of astronauts aboard Columbia began its third duty shift of the 14-day mission this morning as near continuous operations in the pressurized Spacelab module gather more and more data for scientists participating in the International Microgravity Laboratory-2 mission.
Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell took take care of activities in the crew compartment while Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai spent their second day working in the laboratory. The Blue Team of Mission Specialists Carl Walz, Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas began its sleep shift about 9:30 a.m. CDT after a smooth shift. Neither the crew nor flight controllers in Houston reported any significant problems overnight.
One highlight was a television interview with Cleveland natives Walz and Thomas by a hometown television station. Displaying Cleveland penants, stickers and shirts, the pair discussed how important the STS-65 experiments are to long-duration space flight, how their academic studies helped them to become astronauts and how the Apollo 11 lunar landing motivated them 25 years ago.
On Sunday, July 10, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #5 reported: Routine housekeeping was the order of business today as Columbia circles the Earth virtually trouble free continuing to provide a stable platform for the around the clock science work ongoing in the Spacelab module. Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell are in charge of Orbiter upkeep while Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai continue science work in the laboratory in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission.
Both Hieb and Mukai spent time in a device designed to help astronauts counter the effects of microgravity on the human body. The lower body negative pressure device, or LBNP, is used to create a vacuum that pulls fluids back into the lower portions of the body as it is on Earth.
While Halsell reviewed his landing skills on the portable in-flight landing trainer, called PILOT, Cabana conducted a tour of the Orbiter watching over the shoulders of crew members as they performed various experiments throughout the spacecraft. He ended the tour with views of the Earth from the operating altitude of 163 nautical miles.
Mission manager Lanny Upton reported that Columbia astronaut Richard J. Hieb reseated an electrical connector on a cable used to transmit data to the Payload Operations Control Center (POCC) in Huntsville. Data is now flowing between the medical experiments that use this connection and the shuttles onboard recorder and downlink antenna system. Previous to the fix, astronauts were manually reading out some important data and sending it down to scientists on the ground. They were also making use of an onboard camcorder to videotape some experiment data and send it in lew of using a camera built into the experiment.
On Monday, July 11, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #6 reported: The STS-65 astronauts remain focused on the work at hand as Columbia continues to provide a trouble-free environment for microgravity research. The only difficulty reported during the Blue Team's shift was the early termination of an excess supply water dump. The dump was stopped when nozzle temperatures were seen to be dropping too fast. Mission Specialist Carl Walz walked through a series of test procedures designed to determine whether ice had formed on the nozzle.
On Monday, July 11, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #7 reported: From an orbiter standpoint, no problems are being tracked by the flight control teams in the Mission Control Center monitoring systems along with the crew. The only item of interest seen early this morning was a drop in temperature on the supply water nozzle that is kept heated to prevent possible formation of ice during routine dumps of excess water overboard throughout the flight. Flight Flight controllers are evaluating the data to determine what may have caused the drop in temperature, and will dump excess water by evaporating it through an alternate system called the flash evaporator system, or FES.
On Tuesday, July 12, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #8 reported: Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas stayed busy tending the Spacelab module's International Microgravity Laboratory-2 experiments as Mission Specialist Carl Walz took care of shuttle housekeeping. The Blue Team is scheduled to begin its sleep shift about 9:30 a.m.
From an orbiter standpoint, no significant problems are being tracked by the flight control teams in the Mission Control Center. The only item of interest is continuing analysis of a drop in temperature on the supply water nozzle. That nozzle is kept heated to prevent possible formation of ice during routine dumps of excess water overboard throughout the flight. Flight controllers are evaluating the data to determine what may have caused the drop in temperature, and postponed this morning's planned dump of waste water through an identical nozzle immediately next to the supply dump nozzle. Excess supply water continues to be dumped by evaporating it through the flash evaporator system, or FES.
On Tuesday, July 12, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #9 reported: With a few nuisances, rather than problems, aboard the Orbiter, the crew pressed on through a timeline packed with experiments representing more than 12 countries. A couple of the video tape recorders in the Spacelab module have been erratic, but four are available to record necessary experiment data. Erratic signatures seen yesterday during a supply water dump overboard were not seen today when the waste tank aboard Columbia was emptied. Possible ice in the supply water line or nozzle could explain the signatures seen yesterday.
Cabana took time out of his scheduled activities to show a tape of work ongoing aboard the spacecraft during the last 24 hours, including daily exercise, experiment work in the Spacelab and Earth observation.
On Wednesday, July 13, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #10 reports: No new difficulties were reported overnight. Two videotape recorders remained out of commission in the Spacelab module, but there are a total of four are available to record necessary experiment data.
On Wednesday, July 13, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #11 reports: Other than juggling various tape recorders aboard the Orbiter to support science requirements, the crew has spent the day fulfilling routine housekeeping chores and monitoring secondary experiments.
Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell are handling Orbiter duty while Mission Specialist Rick Hieb worked in the pressurized Spacelab module. Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai was given the first half of her day off. After lunch, Hieb took the rest of the day off and Mukai took over duty in the Spacelab. The other three astronauts, Carl Walz, Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas, working primarily overnight, woke up about an hour ago and will begin their work day about 8 p.m. tonight.
On Thursday, July 14, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #12 reports: Columbia's astronauts beamed down three explanations of International Microgravity Laboratory-2 experiments overnight as virtually trouble-free operations continued on the 14-day mission to study how plants, animals and materials react to space flight. Blue Team member Carl Walz, who continued to keep watch over the shuttle's systems, explained the operation of the Performance Asses sment Workshop being used to study astronaut performance on long-duration space missions in hopes of developing techniques to forest all any loss of productivity.
Fellow Mission Specialist Don Thomas gave explanations of both the Quasi-Steady Acceleration Measurement equipment that is measuring the microgravity environment in the Spacelab module, and the Applied Research on Separation Methods experiment, which is studying e lectrophoresis methods in microgravity. Thomas and Mission Specialist Leroy Chiao took turns working in the Spacelab module and enjoying half-day vacations. Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai were awakened abo ut 4:45 a.m. CDT, and will take over the duty shift about 6:45 a.m. The Blue Team is scheduled to begin its sleep shift about 8:30 a .m.
On Thursday, July 14, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #13 reports: Columbia's astronauts continued around-the-clock science work in the Spacelab module housed in the payload bay, taking time to provide details of the STS-65 mission during an interview earlier today. Commander Bob Cabana and Pilot Jim Halsell took time out of their schedules to talk with NBC's Today Show, Weekend edition, about the mission objectives and how they relate to future work on the International Space Station. They also discussed and compared their work as test pilots to being pilot astronauts. The interview is expected to air Sunday morning. Mission Specialist Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai each worked a full day in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission, following a half day off each yesterday.
On Friday, July 15, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #14 reports: Walz beamed down television pictures of Chiao working with the Ramses electrophoresis experiment and provided a tour of the laptop computers used by the crew.
On Friday, July 15, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #15 reports: While the science work continued, Cabana demonstrated some of the crew's daily activities aboard the Space Shuttle, including food preparation, housekeeping and Earth observation. The commander of the mission also spent some time recovering the use of one of the still cameras on board that malfunctioned yesterday. He discovered a bent pin inside the body of the camera and straightened it using a pair of needle-nose pliers. Using the ham radio equipment on board, Halsell talked about the mission with students at the West Monroe High School in his hometown as Columbia flew overhead.
Cabana, Halsell and Hieb discussed mission objectives and life in space with about a dozen children during a special event with the TBS show "Feed Your Mind." The children queried the crew about what it's like to be an astronaut, what crew members did for fun in their spare time, and whether their feelings about Earth have changed since they have been in space. Cabana said, that from space, the Earth is a beautiful blue planet surrounded by a thin, delicate looking layer of atmosphere that protects it from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun. He said the sight reinforces the knowledge that humanity must take care of the planet.
On Saturday, July 16, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #17 reports: Routine business was the order of the day aboard Space Shuttle Columbia as Mission Control continues to track no problems aboard the spacecraft. Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai discussed life in space with children during an interview with the Nickelodeon channel. Questions ranged from the experiments on board, to personal hygiene to the Earth's environment. Mission Specialist Rick Hieb continued to work in the Spacelab module throughout the day.
Spacecraft communicator Mario Runco in Mission Control earlier relayed a message to the crew of STS-65 at the exact moment the Saturn V was launched 25 years ago from the Kennedy Space Center to begin the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. At 8:32 a.m., Runco said, "On this day, at this moment 25 years ago, three of your predecessors began an epic journey that would change the way we viewed our world. Columbia's journey today, as her namesake did back then, is pushing the frontiers of knowledge and science for all mankind. Thank you, Columbia."
Runco then told the crew a fictitious engine burn was on board for them to look at to leave low Earth orbit and travel to the Moon. Commander Bob Cabana responded, "Don't we wish."
On Sunday, July 17, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #18 reports: As business continues to be routine aboard Columbia, the Red Team is beginning its 10th day of work on International Microgravity Laboratory-2 experiments. Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai began their workday at 4:45 a.m. CDT as the crew continues to shift its schedule to be ready for Friday's planned landing.
On Monday, July 18, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #20 STS-65 Astronauts Leroy Chiao, Don Thomas and Carl Walz discussed their work on the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission in a live television interview overnight. Columbia's Blue Team members told CBS' "Up to the Minute" program that they are enjoying their flight and looking forward to doing similar work on the International Space Station when it becomes operational. They also said they would like to follow in the footsteps of the Apollo 11 astronauts who landed on the Moon 25 years ago this week.
Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb, and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai began their 11th workday on orbit at 4:45 a.m. CDT after awakening at 2:45 a.m. On this shift, Cabana and Halsell will test their thinking skills on the Performance Awareness Workstation. Halsell also will pract ice on the Portable In-flight Landing Operations Trainer. Hieb will start the day as a subject for the Lower Body Negative Pressure device, being tested as a possible countermeasure against the detrimental effects of space flight, with Mukai assisting. Mukai will climb into the sack-like device that pulls bodily fluids back into the legs and feet as the subject of a second LBNP run.
On Monday, July 18, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #21 A small thruster jet failed early this morning, but was recovered after flight controllers determined the problem was a clogged transducer. Called a vernier engine, the thruster is one of six used to fine-tune the position of the spacecraft to keep it stable. STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana, Pilot Jim Halsell, Payload Commander Rick Hieb, and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai took time out to talk with Larry King for the Cable News Network show airing Tuesday at 8 p.m.
As has been the case for most of the flight, Cabana and Halsell tested their proficiency skills on the Performance Awareness Worksta tion and the Portable In-flight Landing Operations Trainer. Hieb and Mukai took turns in the Lower Body Negative Pressure device, a possible countermeasure against the detrimental effects of space flight. Carl Walz, Leroy Chiao and Don Thomas woke up just before three this afternoon and took over for their co-workers at about 5 p.m.
On Tuesday, July 19, 1994 at 7 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #22 STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana and Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai started their twelfth day in space with a television interview that involved questions from Japan, Brazil and Australia. Topics included several of the experiments on the International Microgravity Laboratory-2 flight, the beauty of the Earth from orbit and the need to protect Earth's diminishing resources. Among the interviewers was Dr. Mamoru Mohri, who became the first Japanese payload specialist to fly aboard a space shuttle on the STS-47 Spacelab-J mission of September 1992. Mukai is the first female Japanese payload specialist to fly in space.
Columbia's systems continue to perform almost flawlessly. One recent item of interest has been a continuing series of error messages from one of the shuttle's three inertial measurement units, which provide guidance information for the on-board computers. Flight controllers are studying the messages carefully, but have determined that the IMU is still functioning well and capable of providing data needed to land the shuttle. The orbiter remains in a 163 by 158 nautical mile orbit, circling the Earth every 90 minutes.
On Tuesday, July 19, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #23 The only issue of any significance is with a backup stabilizing unit on one of the three navigation platforms in the nose of the Orbiter. Called an Inertial Measurement Unit, or IMU, the device is used to provide navigation data to the spacecraft's onboard computers. The backup rate gyroscope has experienced transient spikes periodically, but none have interfered with the operation of the navigation platform. Flight controllers have compared the IMU with one of its sister units to ensure that it is healthy.
Earlier today, the crew downlinked video of Japanese Payload Specialist Chiaki Naito-Mukai working in the Spacelab module with the Aquatic Animal Enclosure Unit and the Japanese Medaka fish. Payload Commander Rick Hieb and Mukai also participated in a Canadian experiment that measures changes to the astronauts' spinal columns. The astronauts also shared Earth views as the Orbiter passed over the South American continent.
On Wednesday, July 20, 1994 at 6 a.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #24 STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana told reporters on the ground early Wednesday that the crew of Columbia is proud have the Apollo 11 lunar landing as part of its heritage, that today's space program is made up of people who are equally talented and hard working, and that they are ready to take on the challenge of an International Space Station.
Cabana's comments came at the start of the in-flight news conference, which also covered the crew's ability to recover the operations of five experiment mechanisms during the course of the flight, the importance of America's space program as an inspiration for the country's young people, and the willingness of many members of NASA's astronaut corps to return to the Moon. Cabana also said the close coordination seen on the STS-65 International microgravity Laboratory-2 mission will serve as a model for space station operations, especially in the area of telescience, which has been exploited heavily on this flight with some 25,000 remote commands having been sent to the Spacelab experiments so far.
Payload Specialist Chiaki Mukai, the first Japanese female to fly in space, fielded a variety of questions in both Japanese and English, including inquiries as what she felt was the most impressive view from orbit (The Earth's limb at sunrise and sunset), and what she would most like to do when she returns to Earth (see the people who worked so hard on this mission happy with the results).
Flight controllers continue to monitor one of Columbia's three Inertial measurement Units, which has experienced a series of transient error messages, but remain convinced that the navigation instrument is healthy and could support landing.
On Wednesday, July 20, 1994 at 6 p.m., STS-65 MCC Status Report #25
STS-65 Commander Bob Cabana observed the 25th anniversary of the first landing on the Moon today in a special commemoration on board the Space Shuttle which bears the same name as the Apollo 11 command module -- Columbia. At 3:18 p.m. CDT, the exact time the lunar module Eagle landed at Tranquillity Base 25 years earlier, Cabana extended his best wishes to all those celebrating the "giant leap for mankind."
This afternoon, Cabana also talked to the crew aboard the Russia's Space Station Mir exchanging greetings and well wishes on the 25th anniversary of Apollo 11. In a linkup through the Mission Control Centers in Houston and Kaliningrad, Cabana talked with cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko, Talgat Musabayev and Dr. Valery Polyakov about life on the Shuttle and Mir, and future cooperation in space on the International Space Station.
The Orbiter systems continue to perform well allowing continuous science gathering in the pressurized Spacelab module in the payload bay in support of the second International Microgravity Laboratory mission. In a precautionary measure, flight controllers are still monitoring the performance of Inertial Measurement Unit 1, which experienced transient errors in the redundant rate gyro earlier in the flight.
Flight controllers also are beginning to review deorbit and entry messages in preparation for Columbia's return to Earth Friday. Two landing opportunities are available for Columbia at the Kennedy Space Center -- at 5:47 a.m. and 7:23 a.m. Long-range weather shows favorable conditions forecast for the landing. References: 2 , 5 , 6 , 7 .