Launch! and the MissionI dedicate my efforts during this mission to the memory of my father, Mr. Kong Ming Cheung. It is because of my parents' urging that I have achieved the educational goals needed to be an effective member of this team.
My parents holding Christopher at his christening.
The launch was on October 29, 1998 at 2:20pm.
Click here for the MOVIE version (190k).
My wife, children and sister-in-law at the launch site. Full Size.
Design on the HOST Team Shirt. The lettering near the bottom reads:
HST Orbital Systems Test (HOST) provides an on-orbit test bed for new
and advanced technologies for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Design by Space Shirts.
During the mission, I will be the main liaison between the Mission Operations Manager (known as the MOM) and the staff on hand for the NCS. Along with my shift counterpart (we will be working two twelve hours shifts) we are responsible for quickly diagnosing problems and coordinating the actions of the NCS team to solve them.
In the HOST Control Room at KSC. Normal size
Astronaut Steve Lindsey operating the PGSE computer that
I carried in during my crew cabin visit. This computer
communicates with my HOST Controller.
On console in our control room at KSC. Sitting next to me is Marc Kaylor from
Swales Aerospace. Judy Gibbon from NASA is just visible behind me.Other view
Full view of the NCS area in the Payload Operations
Control Center (POCC). Full Size. Other view.
- The clock in the wall above shows the Mission Elapsed Time (MET), or the amount of time into the mission. This was six days, six hours, eight minutes and fourty five seconds.
- The astronauts are visible in the monitor on the back wall.
- The large display above my head shows the earth and the shuttle. This allows us to visualize the attitude and position of the shuttle.
- The voice communication boxes on the shelf above the desk allows us to communicate with the other team members.
The only problem we had was that the prediction of the thermal engineers of an average temperature of -10C was incorrect. During the mission, we were much warmer, perhaps by 30 degrees. This was because another instrument in a nearby cradle (IEH) required lengthy sun pointing to accomplish its science objectives. Since I did not intend the Controller to be run this warm, this resulted in a potential shut down of the HOST Controller by around day seven. This would mean a total shutdown of the whole cradle since we would not be able to get any commands or data from the instruments. Fortunately, this was not necessary and we did not lose valuable mission time.
Another impact of the warm attitude was that the NCS could not run at peak efficiency, and we did not achieve our low temperature goal of 72K (72 degrees above absolute zero). We did instead achieve a low temp of 72.64K. This was judged to be sufficient.
Some of the NCS Blue Team Members.
Some of the HOST Blue Team Members.
Here are two cartoons from Mission Control at
Johnson Space Center that were sent around at the end of the mission:
Caption reads : KSC practical jokers prepare for STS-95 landing.
Explanation : In the sci-fi movie 'Planet of the Apes', when humans landed
on the planet, the Statue of Liberty had been buried in the sand.
First cel: Wanna see something weird?
Second cel: First, I place a piece of HOST equipment into the Orbiter.. (toaster reads:HOST A MATIC).
Third cel: ...Then I open the PLB (Pay Load Bay) Doors and wait two minutes! Ding!
Fourth cel: What happens to Spartan and IEH? They experience secondary thermal impacts.
Explanation: The Shuttle is the HOST A MATIC. It is so warm that it makes toast
out of our hardware. The other cradles (Spartan and IEH) experience impacts
on their science schedule because we are always asking for cooler orbits.
This cartoon was on the cover of the 'STS-95 Execute Package' for flight
day 09 issued by the Flight Activities Officer at the Johnson Space Center.