Commander Curt Brown, Pilot Steve Lindsey and Payload Specialist John Glenn took a few minutes break from the research work to provide a status on the mission thus far, with Glenn describing his adaptation to weightlessness and the views of Earth from Discovery. Early this afternoon, the crew released the Petite Amateur Naval Satellite, or PANSAT, which is now trailing Discovery by about 27 miles, increasing that distance by about 9 miles with each orbit. PANSAT, developed by the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, will remain in orbit and test innovative technologies to capture and transmit radio signals that normally would be lost because the original signals were too weak or contained too much interference.
Mission Specialists Steve Robinson and Scott Parazynski unstowed and checked out Discovery's 50-foot long robot arm, finding everything in good condition and ready for Sunday's scheduled deployment of the SPARTAN solar science spacecraft. Robinson and Parazynski also surveyed the exterior of Discovery, observing a small piece of loose insulation on the left rear of the spacecraft. The loose insulation poses no problems for the Shuttle. The crew also used the arm to test a new wireless camera technology that can be used with reflectors in the cargo bay to develop a system that may lead to a new alignment aid for arm operators.
The crew will begin an eight-hour sleep period at about 11:10 p.m. and awaken at 7:10 a.m. Central time on Saturday to begin day three of the mission. Discovery is orbiting at an altitude of 349 statute miles by 340 statute miles, circling the Earth once every one hour, 35 minutes and 54 seconds.