STS-84 Day 9 Highlights
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- On Friday, May 23, 1997, 6:30 a.m. CDT, STS-84 MCC Status Report # 17
- Atlantis is set to conclude its voyage in space at 6:52 a.m. Central
time tomorrow at the Kennedy Space Center.in Florida, following this
morning's checkout of systems that will be used during reentry and
landing. Weather forecasters predict a possibility of showers near
the landing strip at KSC but generally favorable conditions for both
landing opportunities. The backup landing site at Edwards Air Force
Base, California is not being considered for a Saturday homecoming.
- Commander Charlie Precourt, Pilot Eileen Collins and Mission
Specialist Carlos Noriega spent the morning testing Atlantis' flight
control surfaces and thruster jets to ensure they are ready to support
the Shuttle's high speed return to Earth.
- The astronauts' final day on orbit was also devoted to stowing
equipment and finishing experiment work in the SPACEHAB module in the
cargo bay. The crew will go to bed later today at 12:08 p.m. Central
time for an extended nine-hour sleep period which will end with a
wakeup call from Mission Control at 9:08 this evening.
- Deorbit preparations will begin just before 2 a.m. Saturday followed
an hour later by closing of Atlantis' payload bay doors. The
astronauts are scheduled to don their launch and entry suits shortly
after 4 a.m. and strap into their seats about 5 a.m. Entry Flight
Director Wayne Hale is expected to poll the flight control team for
the final decision for the deorbit burn 20 minutes prior to the
planned firing of Atlantis' orbital maneuvering system engines at 5:47
- In addition to 2,600 pounds of items being brought back from the Mir
Space Station, Atlantis is ferrying home astronaut Jerry Linenger, who
is returning to Earth after 122 days on the Mir. If Atlantis lands as
planned Saturday, Linenger will have logged 132 days in space on this
flight, the second longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut
behind the record 188-day stay in orbit by Shannon Lucid last year.
Linenger's replacement on the Mir, Mike Foale, began his work in
earnest today with experiment data collection and housekeeping chores
along with his two Russian crewmates.
- On Friday, May 23, 1997, 9:15 p.m. CDT, STS-84 MCC Status Report # 18
- The STS-84 crew aboard Atlantis are busy with final stowage of
experiments and equipment in preparation for return to Earth early
tomorrow morning while the flight team in Mission Control continues to
assess the weather forecast for the landing site on Saturday.
- The current weather forecast for Saturday has several issues. The
prime threat against an Atlantis homecoming on Saturday, is the chance
of rain showers within 30 n.m. of Kennedy Space Center. There is also
a concern with broken cloud cover that might be over the Florida
landing site tomorrow. The alternate landing site at Edwards Air
Force Base in California is not being called up for support on
- This evening's wake up call to Atlantis' came at 9:08 p.m.
Continuing a theme observed in STS-84 wake up calls, today's musical
selection was."The Star Spangled Banner". Mission Control, in a
salute to the international nature of the STS-84 flight and makeup of
the crew, on various mornings has played the national anthems of
Russia, France, Great Britain, Peru and the United States.
- If everything goes as planned, deorbit preparations will begin just
before 2 a.m. tomorrow morning followed an hour later by the closing
of Atlantis' payload bay doors. The astronauts are scheduled to don
their launch and entry suits shortly after 4 a.m. and strap into their
seats about 5 a.m. Entry Flight Director Wayne Hale is expected to
poll the flight control team for the final decision for the deorbit
burn 20 minutes prior to the planned firing of Atlantis' orbital
maneuvering system engines at 5:47 a.m.
- The deorbit burn will last 3 minutes, 14 seconds, and will take
place 220 n.m. over the southern portion of the Indian Ocean. The
deorbit burn will slow Atlantis down enough to allow the Shuttle to
fall back into the Earth's atmosphere. About 30 minutes after the
burn, Atlantis will begin to feel the effects of Earth's atmosphere as
it travels north of Hawaii over the Pacific Ocean at an altitude of
- Atlantis will travel in a northwest to southeast path across the
United States as it makes its approach into the area around the
Kennedy Space Center. Touchdown of Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center.s
Shuttle Landing Facility is planned for 6:52 a.m. CDT.
- Should the weather prevent the crew from utilizing the first landing
opportunity, a second one is available one orbit later. The second
opportunity would call for a deorbit burn at 7:22 a.m. CDT and a
landing at KSC at 8:28 a.m. CDT.
- Following landing, the STS-84 crew will remain at KSC overnight and
will return to Houston on Sunday morning.
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