STS-101 Day 9 Highlights
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- On Saturday, May 27, 2000, 7:00 a.m. CDT, STS-101 MCC Status Report # 17
- Having departed a rejuvenated International Space Station last
night, Atlantis' crew will now spend a day checking the shuttle's
equipment and stowing away gear in preparation for the trip home,
aiming for a 1:20 a.m. CDT landing on Monday at the Kennedy Space
Center in Florida.
- Atlantis undocked at 6:03 p.m., leaving behind a pristine space
station after spending five days, 18 hours and 32 minutes attached to
the orbiting outpost. After flying a half-loop around the station,
Pilot Scott Horowitz fired Atlantis' jets to separate from the
vicinity. The crew then had a well-deserved half-day break.
- This evening, Commander Jim Halsell and Horowitz will test the
equipment Atlantis will use during the return home to ensure it
remains in good condition. They also will test-fire the shuttle's
steering jets, used to control the orientation of the spacecraft as it
reenters the atmosphere. The crew will participate in a press
conference from orbit at 10:41 p.m. CDT, fielding questions from media
at JSC, Kennedy and at the Russian Mission Control Center.
- Atlantis is in excellent condition, as is the International Space
Station, now 50 miles behind the Shuttle and moving 7 miles further
with each orbit of Earth. For a touchdown in Florida at 1:20 a.m. CDT
on Monday, Atlantis would fire its engines to begin a descent at 12:16
a.m. CDT Monday. A second opportunity also exists for a landing in
Florida on the next orbit, with an engine firing by Atlantis to begin
the descent at 1:53 a.m. CDT Monday leading to a touchdown at 2:56
a.m. CDT Monday. The long-range weather forecast for Monday at the
Kennedy Space Center calls for possible showers and low clouds in the
vicinity, conditions that could be unacceptable for landing.
- The crew begins a sleep period at 7:11 a.m. CDT and will awaken at
3:11 p.m. to begin what is planned to be their final full day in
orbit, a day devoted to the pre-landing checkouts and packing.
- The next mission status report will be issued at 7 p.m. CDT.
- On Saturday, May 27, 2000, 8:30 p.m. CDT, STS-101 MCC Status Report # 18
- With all major mission objectives successfully completed, Atlantis'
crew turned its attention to a planned return trip home, with a
landing scheduled for 1:20 a.m. Central time on Monday at the Kennedy
- Shortly after 7 p.m. today, Commander Jim Halsell, Pilot Scott
Horowitz and Flight Engineer Jeff Williams successfully test fired
Atlantis' steering jets and verified the performance of the various
aerosurfaces that will be used during Atlantis' high-speed return to
Earth. This checkout of Atlantis' flight control surfaces and systems
is a routine activity on the day prior to landing to verify that all
required systems are operating as expected. The tests were monitored
by Entry flight director John Shannon from Mission Control in Houston.
- As Halsell, Horowitz and Williams conducted their work from the
flight deck, crewmates Mary Ellen Weber, Jim Voss, Susan Helms and
Yury Usachev continued stowing away equipment used over the past nine
days on orbit. Throughout the five days of docked operations with the
International Space Station, the SPACEHAB module in Atlantis' payload
bay served as a way station for more than 3,000 pounds of material
transferred between the two vehicles. As the astronauts prepare for
their Memorial Day landing, they will ensure that equipment housed in
that module -- and in Atlantis' crew cabin -- is properly stowed and
secured in place.
- Midway through the crew day -- about 11 p.m. -- the astronauts will
gather for a final review of entry and landing procedures, and then
will continue their stowage activities. Williams and Voss, who
conducted a 6 1/2 hour spacewalk earlier in the mission, also will
pack up and stow away their spacesuits and associated hardware.
- The crew will take time from tonight's entry preparations to talk
with reporters located at the Johnson Space Center in Texas, the
Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Russian Mission Control Center
outside of Moscow in an interview scheduled to begin at 10:41 p.m.
- Preliminary weather forecasts for Monday morning's landing indicate
a slight possibility of rain within 30 miles of the landing site, and
cross winds in excess of acceptable limits. The weather forecasts
will be refined over the course of the next 24 hours in preparation
for landing. For a 1:20 a.m. Central time landing at KSC, Atlantis'
orbital maneuvering system engines would be fired in a deorbit burn at
12:13 a.m. In the event weather precludes a landing on the first
opportunity, a second opportunity exists for a landing in Florida on
the next orbit, with a deorbit burn at 1:50 a.m. resulting in a 2:56
- The next mission status report will be issued at 7 a.m. Central time Sunday.
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