Learn about the mission of the Endeavour space crew and the docking procedure onto the international space station.
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Learn About the Endeavour's Space Mission 1/2 In the last edition, we witnessed the spectacular launch of the space shuttle endeavor as she embarked on mission STS ’97. They went on board to space vehicle to join the five-man crew led by Commander Brent Jett and will continue that journey this week as endeavor heads into space to rendezvous with the international space station orbiting high above the earth. Day two of the mission for Commander Jett’s crew pilot Mike Bloomfield, mission specialist Joe Tanner, co-mission specialist Carlos Noriega and Mark Garneau, a representative from the Canadian space agency. It’s their first full day in space this time around. The astronauts are scheduled to fire the space shuttles large over the maneuvering thrusters twice today as they make their way toward the international space station where three fellow space travelers await their arrival. Currently flying approximately 8,000 statute miles behind and below the ISS, Endeavors’ crew will spend much of today preparing for the eventual docking with the station. Here on the lower deck, Joe Tanner joins Carlos Noriega to prepare the airlock for a check of the space suits they’ll wear during three schedules space works. Mark Garneau and Mike Bloomfield began checking out the systems they’ll use to deliver the station’s first set of solo arrays to the international space station. These will be the first to the eight sets of solo arrays that at the conclusion of the space station construction in 2006 will comprise the station’s electrical power system converting sunlight to electricity. The solo arrays are mounted on a blanket that can be folded like an accordion for delivery. Once in orbit, astronauts will deploy the blankets to their full size. Garneau and Bloomfield check out the shuttle’s robotic arm and space vision system to ensure they are working properly and also inspect the space suit in tools that Tanner and Noriega will use over the course of the space walks. While Tanner and Noriega continued to check out their suits in the airlock, Brent Jett and Mike Bloomfield successfully execute two rendezvous burns to bring endeavor into the proper alignment with the ISS and close the gap between the two space crafts still half a world away form each other. And at the end of day two, the astronauts are happy that mission STS ‘97is going to plan. Day three is docking day for the crew of Endeavor. At this stage, the shuttle is about 700 miles away from the link-up with the International Space Station. Commander Brent Jett and Pilot Mike Bloomfield begin the final stage of rendezvous activities by setting up the aft flight deck controls. On the international space station, Expedition 1 commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev will monitor Endeavor’s approach in docking communicating with the shuttle using air-to-air radio signals. Endeavor will approach the station from below to line up with the earth pacing docking board of unity module. This is the International Space Station and the unity module is on the right hand end on the lower part of the screen. In the middle of the station is the Zaria module. The first component of the international space statin launched and in the upper left hand corner of the screen is the living quarter’s module. Endeavor will dock with the unity module from behind to avoid disturbing the station and its solo arrays with thruster jet debris. The firing of a maneuvering jet is scheduled for 10 a.m. with the shuttle’s rendezvous radar system beginning to provide supplemental navigation information about 10:50 a.m. The final burn called the terminal initiation or T-burn will occur at 11:33. When Endeavors about 2,000 feet away almost directly below and behind the international space station, Jett takes manual control of the approach with the help of crewmen who is operating computer tracking programs and handheld laser distance measuring devices, the mission commander guides th