[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Submitted by N1ORC

                        FLORIDA TODAY 

Nov. 23, 2000

Today just another work day for space station crew
By Steven Siceloff
CAPE CANAVERAL - Thanksgiving won't be much of a holiday for the three
men aboard Space Station Alpha today. 
The crew didn't ask for Thanksgiving off, so they'll treat it as another
work day on the young station. 

Astronaut Bill Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei
Krikalev will spend Thursday unloading a Russian supply capsule sent up
last week, rather than enjoying football, turkey and the trimmings. 

Getting the cargo ship unloaded is the top priority for the crew because
it has to be jettisoned from the station before shuttle Endeavour can
dock and attach a critical set of solar arrays. Mission plans call for
the capsule, called Progress, to detach from the station Dec. 1, one day
before Endeavour is to join the complex. 

The orbiter will launch from Kennedy Space Center Nov. 30. 

Having arrived at the station Nov. 2 for a four-month stay, the three men
knew Thanksgiving would be just one of the holidays they would miss. They
also will be in space while much of the world celebrates Christmas and
New Year's Day. 

But Alpha has many ways for its residents to keep in touch with family
members on Earth during the holidays, unlike past space stations, such as
the 1970's-era American Skylab and the 1980's vintage Russian Mir

The crew recently activated a HAM radio system it can use to talk to
Earth. There also is a camera attached to a station laptop enabling the
men to see and talk with their Earthbound relatives. Otherwise,
communications still are limited on the station. 

"You have...greater capability to put the crew in contact with their
families and that will help a lot," astronaut Dan Burbank said this week
from Johnson Space Center in Houston. 

Burbank, who will talk to the station crew Thanksgiving evening from
Mission Control at Johnson Space Center in Houston, said the men aboard
Alpha will take the missed holidays in stride. 

"You're already in the frame of mind; you know how long you're going to
be there," he said. "I think you mentally prepare yourself." 

In the future, particularly after a suite of American computers is
delivered to the station in January 2001, many more antennas and
television systems will be used to reduce the isolation felt by station
Copyright  2000 FLORIDA TODAY.

Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org