'Live, from high atop the Columbia, it's the Mattingly-Hartsfield Show'

By , Staff correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

Just after shuttle mission controllers here at the Johnson Space Center detailed the hard work going on 180 miles overhead, Columbia's crew used a live television transmission to show that space is fun, too.

After injecting water into one package, ''We just put these in the food warmer and warm them up,'' pilot Henry W. Hartsfield told viewers as he showed off a chicken sandwich. Promising ''unrehearsed, live entertainment,'' mission commander Thomas K. Mattingly added that before making meals in the shuttle's middeck, ''you want to get out something to scoop up fluid with.''

Opening Columbia's freezer, ''T.K.'' said that ''in here we've got two ice-cold drinks all ready, an apple drink and a grapefruit drink . . . a real pleasure to have aboard here.''

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A spaceman's day begins, T.K. continued, with the breakfast chores. ''We try to put everything in one place and then you try to stay there.'' To stay in place either for breakfast or working with the mission's various experiments, the commander went on, ''Hank's been using his toes. . . . Sticking your toes under the lockers is really one of the best ways for holding yourself in place.''

Continuing the tour, Mattingly showed the tools used two hours earlier to correct a wiring fault. That fault had prevented switching on the ''Getaway Special'' (GAS) package of scientific experiments put together by Utah State University students. Back on the ground, flight director Harold Draughon explained that by modifying plans and leaving the now-operational GAS package switched on with full power for the rest of the flight, the experiments ''will accomplish all their objectives and won't lose anything.''

Mattingly boasted about the 10-foot-tall Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES), which has operated successfully in separating biological materials with electrical charges. He floated a plastic bag across the middeck to show how it is deflected by minuscule forces in zero gravity - just as tiny electrical forces in the CFES experiment separate pure substances in what experimenters hope will become a method used in commercial-scale space factories of the future. The commander finished with a final plug for space flight: ''I hope it got across to you the way we see it . . . a breathtaking thing . . . what a beautiful sight it is to see the whole world and see it pass by that fast , with all the colors in the clouds.''

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