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  Mission Updates :: Mar 1 - Flight Day 1

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Breaking free of EarthFriday| Mar. 1, 2002
- 9:30 pm EST

Managers Optimistic Cooling System OK; STS-109 Chases Hubble Space Shuttle Columbia will continue its pursuit of the Hubble Space Telescope. The seven STS-109 astronauts received news early Friday night that managers are optimistic that the full mission will go forward as planned. Managers will meet again at midday Saturday to evaluate the situation. Two cooling systems are onboard Columbia and the other is operating perfectly.

Onboard Columbia, Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Duane Carey will adjust Columbia's orbit at 11:10 p.m. CST Friday (0510 GMT Saturday). The crew will also check the robotic arm and spacesuits in preparation for Columbia's arrival at the telescope and the mission's five space walks. Mission Specialist Nancy Currie is slated to grapple Hubble with the robot arm at 3:14 a.m. CST (0914 GMT) Sunday... more from Johnson Space Center's Status Report #3...

Friday | Mar. 1, 2002 - 3:00 pm EST
Following Columbiaís on-time launch from the Kennedy Space Center this morning, flight controllers in Mission Control noticed a degraded flow rate in one of two freon cooling loops that help to dissipate heat from the orbiter.

There are two freon cooling loops that are part of the shuttleís active thermal control system, one on the port and one on the starboard side of the payload bay. Freon loop 1 on the port side is showing a degraded flow rate.

While low, the flow rate is slightly above flight rule limits. Mission managers are currently reviewing... more from Johnson Space Center's Status Report #2...

Kennedy Space Center
Vehicle: Columbia/OV-102
Shuttle & Payload Processing Status Report

Columbia Launches at DawnFriday | Mar. 1, 2002
- 6:30 am EST

Following a flawless final countdown, Shuttle Columbia lifted off at 6:22:02.080 a.m. EST today on the STS-109 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Columbia, returning to space after an extensive 2 1/2 year modification period, arced through a scattered cloud layer minutes before dawn on the start of an 11-day mission that includes five spacewalks after Hubble is retrieved in the orbiter payload bay. Quick-look data indicate the Shuttle engines performed normally during the eight minutes of powered flight. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES...

In the Solid Rocket Booster recovery area some 140 miles east of Cape Canaveral, retrieval ships Liberty Star and Freedom Star are on station, assessing the status of the two spent booster casings in three to four foot seas. The ships are scheduled to return to their berths at Cape Canaveral tomorrow morning.

CLICK HERE for Johnson Space Center's Status Report #1

 More material about this mission day
 Commander Grunsfeld's Notes from Space #1
 Commander Grunsfeld's Notes from Space #2


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