With the Kennedy Space Center reporting cloud cover, showers and gusty winds and with forecasters calling for more of the same for the rest of the week, flight controllers decided to bring Endeavour home to a landing at Edwards Air Force Base later today.
Two opportunities to land at Edwards are available today. For the first, the deorbit burn would occur at 10:03 a.m. central time with landing at 11:11 a.m. The second would see a deorbit burn at 11:39 a.m. and touchdown at 12:47 p.m. Forecasters said weather at Edwards is ideal.
Endeavour, which was launched April 19, brought an advanced and more powerful robotic arm, Canadarm2, to the International Space Station. The shuttle also delivered to the station more than 6,000 pounds of equipment and supplies, much of it transported in the Italian-built Multipurpose Logistics Module named Raffaello. Among equipment aboard Raffaello were two new scientific experiment racks for the space station's U.S. laboratory Destiny.
Endeavour's crew, Commander Kent Rominger, Pilot Jeff Ashby and Mission Specialists Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, John Phillips, Scott Parazynski, Umberto Guidoni of the European Space Agency and Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, were awakened at 11:48 p.m. by "Truth," performed by Spandau Ballet. The wakeup music was for Rominger, requested by his family.
The next status report will be issued following Endeavour's landing, or as events warrant.
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