DATE=9/10/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=SHUTTLE-DOCKING WRAP (L) NUMBER=2-266311 BYLINE=DAVID MCALARY DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= INTERNET= VOICED AT: INTRO: The U-S space shuttle Atlantis has docked with the International Space Station on a mission to make the outpost livable for permanent habitation. V-O-A Science Correspondent David McAlary reports. TEXT: Atlantis commander Terry Wilcutt guided the shuttle slowly to the docking port on the U-S-built Unity module high above western Kazakhstan. /// WILCUTT - MISSION CONTROL /// [WILCUTT:] Houston, we have a capture light. [MISSION CONTROL:] We copy. /// END ACT /// The mating occurred without the benefit of a key navigation device. One of the shuttle's two star- trackers had failed - the first such failure since shuttles took to orbit 20 years ago. But a quarter turn of the orbiter pointed a second star tracker toward the station, providing all the navigation data the crew needed to reach its target. The five U-S astronauts and two Russian cosmonauts are to spend five and possibly six days turning the Russian Zvezda module into a home for the first long- duration crew to come aboard in November. The lead shuttle flight director, Phil Engelauf, says the extra day is more and more likely to be granted because the commander and pilot have been using less fuel and power than planned. /// ENGELAUF ACT /// We managed to make some gains on our propellant margins and have continued to make some small gains on our cryogenic or power production margins, which give us a little bit more confidence in being able to add the day to the mission. /// END ACT /// Soon after docking, Commander Wilcutt struggled to open the balky hatch door to the tunnel leading to the station. He was to gather air samples for analysis on Earth to see how well the station's air filters work, but could not get in at first. /// WILCUTT ACT /// It's frozen in position. We're pushing on it and we can't get it open. /// END ACT /// The crisis was momentary, however, as he reported to Mission Control. /// WILCUTT - ACT /// [WILCUTT:] Houston we just got the hatch open. We're inside. [MISSION CONTROL:] Thanks, Terry. Lots of sighs of relief. We appreciate that. /// END ACT /// But when Commander Wilcutt tried to use the air- sampling device, it fell apart in his hands. Nevertheless, lead station flight director Mark Ferring says the test was not critical. /// FERRING ACT /// It really has zero impact on our ability to accomplish this mission and even the air sample itself wasn't required. It was primarily to make sure that the models that people have developed here that look at the quantities of outgassing and that kind of thing are as accurate as they can possibly be. /// END ACT /// The Atlantis crew will not go all the way into the outpost until Tuesday, when they begin transferring equipment and supplies into Zvezda. Before that -- on Monday -- astronaut Ed Lu and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will conduct a spacewalk to connect power and data cables to Zvezda, which doubled the size of the space station when it arrived in July. (SIGNED) NEB/DEM/PLM 10-Sep-2000 07:22 AM EDT (10-Sep-2000 1122 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .