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STS-88 was a United States Space Shuttle mission.

Space Shuttle program
Mission Insignia

Mission Statistics
Launch Pad:39-A
Launch: December 4, 1998 3:35:34 a.m. EST (8:35:34 GMT)
Landing: December 15, 1998, KSC 10:53 pm EST
Duration:11 days, 19 hours, 18 minutes, 47 seconds.
Orbit Altitude:173 nm.
Orbit Inclination:51.6 degrees
Distance Traveled: 4.7 million miles (7,600,000 km)
Crew photo
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Mission Parameters

Docking with ISS

Space walk

  • Ross and Newman - EVA 1
  • EVA 1 Start: December 7, 1998 - 22:10 UTC
  • EVA 1 End: December 8, - 05:31 UTC
  • Duration: 7 hours, 21 minutes
  • Ross and Newman - EVA 2
  • EVA 2 Start: December 9, 1998 - 20:33 UTC
  • EVA 2 End: December 10, - 03:35 UTC
  • Duration: 7 hours, 02 minutes
  • Ross and Newman - EVA 3
  • EVA 3 Start: December 12, 1998 - 20:33 UTC
  • EVA 3 End: December 13, - 03:32 UTC
  • Duration: 6 hours, 59 minutes

Mission Highlights

The seven-day mission will be highlighted by the mating of the U.S.-built Node 1 station element to the Functional Energy Block (FGB) which will already be in orbit, and two spacewalks to connect power and data transmission cables between the Node and the FGB. The FGB, built by Boeing and the Russian Space Agency, is scheduled for launch on a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in November 1997. Node 1 was originally scheduled for Launch December 4, 1997 but was rescheduled for launch in July of 1998.

Node 1 will be the first Space Station hardware delivered by the Space Shuttle. It has two Pressurized Mating Adapters (PMA), one attached to either end. One PMA is permanently mated to the FGB and the other used for orbiter dockings and crew access to the station. Node 1 also will contain an International Standard Payload Rack used to support on-orbit activities once activated after the fifth Shuttle/Station assembly flight.

To begin the assembly sequence, the crew will conduct a series of rendezvous maneuvers similar to those conducted on other Shuttle missions to reach the orbiting FGB. On the way, Currie will use the Shuttle's robot arm to place Node 1 atop the Orbiter Docking System. Cabana will complete the rendezvous by flying Endeavour to within 35 feet (10 m) of the FGB, allowing Currie to capture the FGB with the robot arm and place it on the Node's Pressurized Mating Adapter.

Once the two elements are docked, Ross and Newman will conduct two scheduled spacewalks to connect power and data cables between the Node, PMAs and the FGB. The day following the spacewalks, Endeavour will undock from the two components, completing the first Space Station assembly mission.

Other payloads on the STS-88 mission will be the IMAX Cargo Bay Camera (ICBC), the Argentinean Scientific Applications Satellite-S (SAC-A), the MightySat 1 Hitchhiker payload, the Space Experiment Module (SEM-07) and Getaway Special G-093 sponsored by the University of Michigan.

Endeavour's astronauts toured the new International Space Station on Dec. 11, entering the Unity and Zarya modules for the first time and establishing an S-band communications system that will enable U.S. flight controllers to monitor the outpost's systems.

Reflecting the international cooperation involved in building the largest space complex in history, Commander Bob Cabana and Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev opened the hatch to the U.S.-built Unity connecting module and floated into the new station together.

The rest of the crew followed and began turning on lights and unstowing gear in the roomy hub to which other modules will be connected in the future. Each passageway within Unity was marked by a sign leading the way into tunnels to which new modules will be connected.

About an hour later, Cabana and Krikalev opened the hatch to the Russian-built Zarya control module, which will be the nerve center for the station in its embryonic stage. Joined by Pilot Rick Sturckow and Mission Specialists Jerry Ross, Jim Newman and Nancy Currie, Cabana and Krikalev hailed the historic entrance into the International Space Station and said the hatch opening signified the start of a new era in space exploration.

Ross and Newman went right to work in Unity, completing the assembly of an early S-band communications system that will allow flight controllers in Houston to send commands to Unity's systems and to keep tabs on the health of the station with a more extensive communications capability than exists through Russian ground stations. The astronauts also conducted a successful test of the videoconferencing capability of the early communications system, which will be used by the first crew to permanently occupy the station in January 2000. Newman downlinked greetings to controllers in the station flight control room in Houston and to astronaut Bill Shepherd, who will command the first crew and live aboard the station with Krikalev and Cosmonaut Yuri Gidzenko.

Krikalev and Currie replaced a faulty unit in Zarya which controlled the discharging of stored energy from one of the module's six batteries. The battery had not been working properly in its automatic configuration, but the new unit was functioning normally shortly after it was installed.

The astronauts also unstowed hardware and logistical supplies stored behind panels in Zarya, relocating the items for use by the Shuttle crew that will visit the station in May and by Shepherd's expedition crew. The astronauts also completed their initial outfitting of the station.

The hatches to Zarya and Unity were closed before Endeavour undocked from the new station, leaving the new complex to orbit the Earth unpiloted.

See also

External links

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