Awakened to the sounds of ^ÓDéjà vu^Ô by Crosby, Stills,
Nash and Young, Commander Brian Duffy advised Mission Control that he
and his crew knew what they^Òd be doing today and hoped to see
everyone on the ground soon.
Discovery is targeting a landing later today, after poor weather
conditions in Florida and California kept the crew in space two days
longer than originally planned. Duffy and his crew mates ^Ö Pilot
Pam Melroy and Mission Specialists Leroy Chiao, Bill McArthur, Jeff
Wisoff, Mike Lopez-Alegria and NASDA Astronaut Koichi Wakata ^Ö
will begin their preparations for a return trip to Earth about 8:30
this morning, in anticipation of a landing at either the Kennedy Space
Center or Edwards Air Force Base later today.
With continuing strong winds, cloud cover and rain at the Florida
landing site, a landing there today remains unlikely. However, there
is one opportunity for the crew to land in Florida if weather
conditions improve significantly. That opportunity would see a
deorbit burn at 1:21 p.m. with landing to follow at 2:28 p.m. An
opportunity to return to KSC one orbit earlier, on Orbit 200, has
already been ruled out due to the crew^Òs activity timeline
On the west coast, improving weather conditions at Edwards Air Force
Base hold promise for Discovery^Òs return. Entry Flight Director
Leroy Cain and his team will watch over the weather this morning and
likely will adjust the crew^Òs deorbit timeline to focus on the
Edwards opportunities today.
On the first of two opportunities to land at Edwards today,
Discovery^Òs orbital maneuvering system engines would fire in a
deorbit burn at 2:51 p.m. as it passes over the Indian Ocean, just
north of Madagascar and east of Kenya. Discovery would encounter the
first traces of the atmosphere while flying over the South Pacific,
just south of the Tropic of Capricorn and east of Australia and
continue its flight over the Pacific, passing well South of the
Hawaiian Islands before arriving on the west coast of the United
States. As it heads into Edwards Air Force Base, Discovery will pass
just south of the Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands before crossing
the California coastline over Los Angeles.
There is a second opportunity to Edwards with a deorbit burn
starting the descent at 2:52 p.m. and landing at 3:59 p.m. A landing
today brings to a close the 100th mission in Shuttle program history
on a mission that paved the way for the first residents of the
orbiting International Space Station.
Discovery glided to a textbook landing under sunny skies at Edwards
Air Force Base in California on Tuesday, completing a successful
mission to the International Space Station. The crew spent more than
two extra days in space because of unfavorable weather at Kennedy
Space Center in Florida and at Edwards.
Discovery touched down at 4 p.m. CDT and rolled to a stop on
Edward's concrete runway at 4:0l, for a mission elapsed time of 12
days, 21 hours and 43 minutes.
The astronauts fired Discovery'sorbital maneuvering system engines
for the deobrit burn at 2:52 p.m. as the spacecraft was over the
Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar and east of Kenya. Discovery felt
the first traces of the atmosphere about 78 statute miles over the
South Pacific, just south of the Tropic of Capricorn and east of
Australia. The spacecraft passed south of Hawaii and crossed the
California coast over Los Angeles. By the time it landed at Edwards,
Discovery had traveled more than 5.3 million statute miles.
Commander Brian Duffy, Pilot Pam Melroy and Mission Specialists
Leroy Chiao, Bill McArthur, Jeff Wisoff, Mike Lopez-Alegria and NASDA
Astronaut Koichi Wakata spent 6 days, 21 hours and 23 minutes docked
to the ISS. They left a larger and more complete station that they
had helped prepare for the early November arrival of the first station
crew. They added two major components, increasing the mass of the ISS
by about 10 tons to a total of about 80 tons.
In addition to the total of 27 hours, 19 minutes spent outside the
station on the four spacewalks, -- two each by Chiao, McArthur, Wisoff
and Lopez-Alegria, the astronauts spent 27 hours and 4 minutes inside,
completing connections with the new elements and transferring
equipment and supplies for the Expedition 1 crew.
Discovery's crew is scheduled to spend Tuesday night at Edwards.
They are to return to Houston on Wednesday, where the crew return
ceremony will be held at Ellington Field's Hangar 990 at about 1:30