Good news greeted the flight controllers of
the International Space Station this morning. Expedition Two’s Susan Helms
reported that the Space Station’s computer systems are in the early stages
of recovery following an unexpected and unexplained shutdown Tuesday night.
Flight controllers will continue to conduct extensive testing today to
analyse the exact nature of yesterday’s problem. Given the continued success
of the computer recovery, the robotic manoeuvre dubbed the first Canadian
“handshake” in space may take place tomorrow, Friday, April 27 (exact time
to be confirmed).

Canadarm2 is still activated with prime power and remains fully operational.
The computer difficulties experienced yesterday were related to the Space
Station’s systems, and did not involve Canadarm2.

Meanwhile, the STS-100 and Expedition Two crews are busy completing the
transfer of 1800 kg of equipment, scientific experiments and supplies from
the Italian Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, a type of space
“moving van,” to the Station.

Pending the restoration of the Station’s computers, Canadarm2 will resume
its operations tomorrow. The Station arm will hand its 1300 kg pallet back
to the Shuttle’s robotic arm for return to Earth. Afterwards, Canadarm2 will
do a practice run for the next shuttle assembly mission in June 2001, when
the robotic arm will lift the Space Station’s new airlock out of the space
shuttle’s payload bay and install it on the Station.

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