CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. — WIELDING a Swiss army knife to cut and splice cables to route data past broken tape recorders, Discovery astronauts revived three military experiments Saturday. The successful repair job was icing on the cake for the crew, who planned to collect as much data as possible before reentry and landing this afternoon in California. The data, which were to have been collected by the on-board tape recorders, are being relayed to ground stations via satellite. Although the three instruments involved secondary experiments not directly related to Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) research, the astronauts were elated.
Two of the revived experiments, built to study ultraviolet radiation and space-borne particles, were expected to achieve 100 percent of their objectives. The third, a novel X-ray sensor, was expected to accomplish at least 50 percent of its planned observations.
Discovery, carrying a $260 million battery of experiments, was launched April 28 to study shuttle rocket firings, Earth's atmosphere, the aurora, and other phenomena to help SDI scientists learn more about spotting enemy missiles in space.