STS-113 and The P1 Truss - November 24th 2002
STS-113 was the 16th American (ISS-16-11A) assembly flight to the International Space Station (ISS). The primary mission was to bring the Expedition 6 crew to the ISS and return the Expedition 5 crew to the Earth. In addition to the crew exchange, STS-113 was the next flight in the assembly sequence to install a major component, the Port 1 (P1) Integrated Truss Assembly. Three spacewalks were carried out to install and activate the truss and its associated equipment.
There were 7 crew members on board of Endevaour: Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington.
Launching crew of Expedition 6: Kenneth D. Bowersox, Nikolai M. Budarin and Nikolai M. Budarin.
Landing crew of Expedition 5: Valery G. Korzun, Peggy A. Whitson, Sergei Y. Treshchov.
The earlier planned launch on Nov. 11 was postponed when higher than allowable oxygen levels were detected in the orbiter's mid-body. Launch was tentatively set for no earlier than Nov. 18 so that technicians could troubleshoot and repair the leak. A fatigued flexible hose was found to be the cause and was replaced, along with another similar hose.
Another problem surfaced when a platform used to access the oxygen line bumped the robotic arm in the payload bay. Inspections of the arm for damage postponed launch until Nov.
The launch was again postponed 24 hours to Nov. 23 due to poor weather conditions at the Transoceanic Abort Landing sites.
Finally on 24th November at 0:49 UTC, STS-113 blasted of from launchpad LC-39A at Cape Canaveral.
MECO and ET separation
Few minutes later Endeavour performs first is 2 OMS burn to circulize orbit.
After reaching stable orbit orbiter cargo bay doors were opened.
During the first two days of the mission, periodic engine firings gradually brought Endeavour to a point about 9 ½ statute miles (24.6 km) behind the station, the starting point for a final approach to the station.
About 2 ½ hours before the scheduled docking time on Flight Day 3, Endeavour reached that point, about 50,000 feet (15,240 meters) behind the ISS. There Endeavour's jets were fired in a Terminal Intercept (TI) burn to begin the final phase of the rendezvous. Endeavour closed the final miles to the station during the next orbit.
As Endeavour closed in, the shuttle's rendezvous radar system began tracking the station and providing range and closing rate information to the crew. During the final approach, Endeavour could do as many as four small mid-course corrections at regular intervals. Just after the fourth correction was completed, Endeavour reached a point about half a mile (900 meters) below the station. There, about an hour before the scheduled docking, Commander James Wetherbee took over manual control of the approach.
He slowed Endeavour's approach and flew to a point about 600 feet (182.9 meters) directly below the station.
For Endeavour's docking, James Wetherbee maintained the shuttle's speed relative to the station at about one-tenth of a one-tenth of a foot per second (3 centimeters per second) (while both Endeavour and the space station were traveling at about five miles a second), and kept the docking mechanisms aligned to within a tolerance of three inches (7.6 centimeters). When Endeavour made contact with the station, preliminary latches automatically attached the two spacecraft. Immediately after Endeavour docked on November 25, 2002, the shuttle's steering jets were deactivated to reduce the forces acting at the docking interface. Shock absorber-like springs in the docking mechanism dampened any relative motion between the shuttle and the station.
Once that motion between the spacecraft had stopped, Michael Lopez-Alegria secured the docking mechanism, sending commands for Endeavour's docking ring to retract and to close a final set of latches between the shuttle and station.
The following day, Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington began spacewalk preparations while James Wetherbee used the shuttle's robotic arm to lift the huge P1 Truss out of Endeavour's payload bay to hand it to the station's Canadarm2 under control of Peggy Whitson inside Destiny. She then carefully installed it on the port side of the S0 Truss. Capture bolts structurally mated the two trusses after a claw-like device on the S0 grabs a fixture on the P1 segment. The procedure was timed so that the two spacewalkers did not exit the station's Quest Airlock until the mating process is complete.
Once Ca2 captured P1 truss Orbiter Ca was moved away
When P1 truss was in place EVA No. 1 began, it took 6 hours, 45 minutes -- Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington hooked up electrical connections between the P1 truss and station, installed spool positioning devices that will ensure quick disconnect devices in fluid lines function properly, and released launch locks on the Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) cart. They also installed Node Wireless video system External Transceiver Assembly (WETA) antennas allowing reception from spacewalkers' helmet cameras without a shuttle present.
Crew while releasing CETA cart launch locks
Before then end they also installed WETA on Unity module.
This concluded first EVA of this mission.
Between EVA No.1 and No.2 Canadarm 2 was temporarily moved from MBS onto Destiny module.
EVA No. 2: 6 hours, 10 minutes -- On Thanksgiving Day, Lopez-Alegria and Herrington connected two fluid jumpers between the P1 and S0 trusses, linking plumbing for ammonia in the station's cooling system. They move CETA Carts from P1 to S1 truss. They also installed a second WETA, this one on the P1 truss. They released launch locks on the P1 radiator beams.
one of CETA carts while being moved from P1 truss to S1 truss
Both CETA carts next to MBS on S1 truss.
This conculeds EVA No.2
EVA No. 3: 7 hours -- Herrington and Lopez-Alegria successfully completed installation of 33 spool positioning devices around the outside of the station. Herrington also troubleshooted the stalled railcar (Mobile Transporter). He freed and deployed a UHF communications antenna that had snagged a trailing umbilical mechanism on the MT. The MT was able to reach its destination, Worksite 7. Herrington completed his assigned tasks without using the Canadarm2, which was to have transferred from the U.S. Lab to the MT to maneuver Herrington through some of his tasks.
UHF and WETA on P1 truss
This was the last EVA of STS-113.
The next day the shuttle and station crews completed transfer work and get-ahead tasks for future assembly flights. The Expedition 5 Crew had to bid farewell to its home for five months and the shuttle crew had to bid its Expedition 6 replacements bon voyage as the hatches were closed on Flight Day 10.
Once Endeavour was ready to undock, Michael Lopez-Alegria sent a command to release the docking mechanism. At initial separation of the spacecraft, springs in the docking mechanism pushed the shuttle away from the station. Endeavour's steering jets were shut off to avoid any inadvertent firings during this initial separation.
Once Endeavour was about two feet (61 centimeters) from the station, with the docking devices clear of one another, Paul Lockhart turned the steering jets back on and fired them to very slowly move away. From the aft flight deck, Paul Lockhart manually controlled Endeavour within a tight corridor as she separated from the ISS, essentially the reverse of the task performed by James Wetherbee just before Endeavour docked.
Endevaour shorly after undokcing
While leaving one of crew member took this amazing photo of ISS
The mission was extended three days due of bad weather on Cape Canaveral (KSC).
On flight day 13 Orbiter fired it's OMS thruster to bring Perigee into atmosphere so shuttle could land at Cape Canaveral.
Endevaour reached Cape without any problem.
Endevaour safely on ground.
STS-113 was the last mission during which cosmonauts flew on-board of US Space Shuttle.
STS-113 was the last successful mission before STS-107, during which all 7 crew members (Rick D. Husband, William C. McCool, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael P. Anderson, Laurel B. Clark and Ilan Ramon) that flew sadly died on re-entry due to damage on heatshield caused by foam that fell of from External Tank at lift off.
After Columbia disaster Space Shuttle was grounded until July 2005.
Up next, Progress M-47 with supplies for crew.