Crew and spacecraft performed well throughout the mission. During eight burns of the service propulsion system during the flight, the engine functioned normally. October 14, third day of the mission, witnessed the first live television broadcast from a manned American spacecraft.
During the full period after my previous MirNEWS (440) , TsUP and the crew regularly discussed problems regarding the oxygen production for Mir's mini atmosphere. Every day the cosmonauts were engaged in the functioning of the Elektron oxygen generators. These systems did not fail, but it was clear that the crew did not trust the automatic functioning of them, and took over manually at every given moment. The crew did not have problems with the BKV-3, the air conditioner. Recently this system showed glitches when the cosmonauts switched it on.
On 3.10.1998 the attitude control was discussed. There was no failure, the crew spoke about the SUD (system for control of movements). From the given commands and the use of the indication Quaternion (a coefficient of 2 vectors) could be derived that for a while the attitude was not under control by the gyrodynes. Possibly a reset operation took place. Regularly the gyrodynes have to be reset to the starting point.
On 5.10.1998 TsUP told the crew that there had been a session of the Contract Commission. The session was a rather tumultuous one, because among other things they discussed problems experienced by the previous expedition (Musabayev and Budarin). The man at TsUP evaluated the results of that session as 'favourable'. Somebody of that commission (possibly named Rodionov) had ordered TsUP to pass on to the present Mir-crew that the 'leadership was highly pleased with the work of the crew'. If Padalka and Avdeyev might have problems they immediately could pass these to him. The man had also promised to follow radio-communications as much as possible.
On 6.10.1998 Avdeyev discussed with TsUP an audio measurement experiment. In the beginning this was not so successful, this in contrary to the execution of the same experiment in the past. Avdeyev just started the adjustment of parameters and later discussions made it clear that the experiment was running well. Padalka asked for an advice about the Holter experiment (an American cardio-vascular experiment).
On 7.10.1998 the same audio experiment (possibly Intrazvuk) was accomplished. That day the cosmonauts discussed the inventory of the French experiments on board Mir.
On 8.10.1998 the cosmonauts showed a great interest in the protest demonstrations which had taken place the day before. It was clear that they agreed 100% the demands of the demonstrators. TsUP gave a short report about the demonstrations, the numbers of the participants (more than our media told us), the many red (communist) and blue (trade-union) flags and the fact that even army chiefs were there. Padalka asked the man at TsUP if he had received his salary. The man said that he had indeed received it.
On 9.10.1998 there was some confusion about a number of Telemetry connections. The data of some life system channels did not reach TsUP and TsUP was not able to give commands and data inquiries via the 'uplink'. The cosmonauts repeatedly interchanged a number of connections and thus solved the problem. TsUP supposed that the problem was caused during the expedition of Solovyov and Vinogradov.
On 10.10.1998 TsUP spoke about the possibility that the CO2 amount in Mir's atmosphere was too high. Telemetry gave a value of 5.9. Padalka said that nothing was wrong and that they still felt excellent. Avdeyev checked the Vozdukh CO-2 filter and did not find anomalies. Later the value had been increased to 6.0 and the crew took counter measures by using ventilators to blow the air through the whole complex. This did not help. To decrease the CO2 amount the crew got orders to adjust the Vozdukh scrubber in the Base Block.
In MirNEWS.440 the possibility of the delay of the launch of this freighter had been reported. Meanwhile there has been confirmed that the launch has been put back from 15.10 to 25.10.1998 due to funding problems. The launch on 25.10, a Sunday, was chosen for ballistic reasons.
Chris v.d. Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202.
The RSRM-76 solid rocket boosters separated at 23:19 GMT and main engine cut-off (MECO) came at 23:25 GMT. External tank ET-104 separated into a 74 x 323 km x 51.6 deg orbit. At apogee at 00:01 GMT on Oct 12, Discovery's OMS engines fired to raise perigee to a 158 x 322 km x 51.6 deg orbit; ET-104 re-entered over the Pacific around 00:30 GMT. At Oct 12 on 03:01 GMT the NC1 burn raised the orbit to 180 x 349 km; NC3 on Oct 12 to 311 x 375 km; and the TI burn at 14:09 GMT on Oct 13 to 375 x 381 km x 51.6 deg. Discovery's rendezvous with the International Space Station came at 15:39 GMT on Oct 13, with docking at 17:45 GMT. The spaceship docked with PMA-2, the docking port on the +Y port of the Space Station's Unity module. Hatch was open to PMA-2 at 20:30 GMT the same day.
STS-92 Cargo Manifest
Total payload bay cargo: ca. 14,800 kg
The Z1 first segment of the space station truss was built by Boeing/Canoga Park and was 3.5 x 4.5 meters in size. It was attached to the +Z port on Unity. Z1 carried the control moment gyros, the S-band antenna, and the Ku-band antenna.
PMA-3, built by Boeing/Huntington Beach, was docked to the -Z port opposite Z1. PMA-3 was installed on a Spacelab pallet for launch.
On October 14 at 16:15 GMT the Z1 segment was unberthed from the payload bay and at around 18:20 GMT it was docked to the zenith port on the Unity module.
On October 15 at 14:20 GMT the ODS airlock was depressurised, beginning a spacewalk by Bill McArthur and Leroy Chiao. Official NASA EVA duration (battery power to repress) was 6 hours 28 minutes.
The second spacewalk was on October 16, with Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria. The suits went to battery power at 14:15 GMT and Wisoff left the airlock at 14:21 GMT. Repressurisation began at 21:22 GMT for a duration of 7 hours 07minutes.
Leroy Chiao and Bill McArthur began the third STS-92 EVA at 15:30 GMT on October 17, completing their work at 22:18 GMT for a total time of 6 hours 48 minutes.
After the spacewalk, Discovery completed the second of the three station reboosts scheduled for STS-92. They fired reaction control system jets in a series of pulses of 1.4 seconds each, over a 30-minute period, gently raising the station's orbit by about 3.1 km.
The last of four successful spacewalks began on 18 October at 16:00 GMT and ended at 22:56 GMT, lasting 6 hours and 56 minutes. Jeff Wisoff and Mike Lopez-Alegria each jetted slowly through space above Discovery's cargo bay.
After the space walk, Discovery completed the third and final reboost of the space station.
On 19 October the astronauts worked within the ISS. They completed connections for the newly installed Z1 external framework structure and transferred equipment and supplies for the Expedition One first resident crew of the Station. The crew also tested the four 290-kg gyroscopes in the truss, called Control Moment Gyros, which will be used to orient the ISS as it orbits the Earth. They will ultimately assume attitude control of the ISS following the arrival of the U.S. Laboratory Destiny. The tests and the transfer of supplies into the Russian Zarya Module took longer than expected. As a result, the crew's final departure from the Station's Unity module was delayed. Melroy and Wisoff took samples from surfaces in Zarya to study the module's environment. They then unclogged the solid waste disposal system in the Shuttle's toilet, which was restored to full operation after a brief interruption in service.
Discovery undocked from the ISS at 16:08 GMT on 20 October. The final separation burn was executed about 45 minutes after undocking. The crew had added 9 tonnes to the station's mass, bringing it to about 72 tonnes. The return to earth, planned for 22 October, was delayed repeatedly due to high winds at the Kennedy landing site. The landing was finally made at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on October 24, at 22:00 GMT.