With the equipment used during the 10th International Space Station assembly mission securely stowed and all systems needed for landing checked out and ready to go, Atlantis’ crew went to bed at 7:04 a.m. CDT today.
Atlantis Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Charlie Hobaugh and Mission Specialists Janet Kavandi, Mike Gernhardt and Jim Reilly will awaken at 3:04 p.m., and begin deorbit preparations at 6:30 p.m. The shuttle's payload bay doors are slated to be closed at 7:49 p.m. Computers on the shuttle will be switched to landing mode at 8:01 p.m., and the crew will climb into its seats at 9:29 p.m.
Since the shuttle’s supplies will support several more days on orbit, Entry Flight Director Wayne Hale has elected to activate landing support only at Kennedy Space Center for tonight. Forecasters are predicting generally favorable conditions at the Shuttle Landing Facility, but are watching out for the possibility of thunderstorms and rain within 30 miles.
There are two Florida landing opportunities Monday night and Tuesday morning. The first begins with a deorbit burn at 10:29 p.m. and concludes with landing at 11:37 p.m. CDT Monday. The second commences with an engine firing at 12:08 a.m. ending with landing at 1:14 a.m. CDT Tuesday.
Lindsey and Hobaugh on Sunday conducted successful tests of the reaction control system jets used to maneuver Atlantis as it begins to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere. They then checked out the flight control surfaces that become effective once the orbiter’s computers sense aerodynamic drag on the vehicle.
Kavandi, Gernhardt and Reilly put away the bulk of the equipment they used during their eight days docked to the station and stowed the 2,550 pounds of equipment they are bringing home from the station.
Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition Two crew enjoyed off-duty and exercise time. Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Susan Helms and Jim Voss did spend time talking with flight controllers in Houston and Moscow about the work ahead of them to get squared away after Atlantis’ visit, and to get ready for the next shuttle mission and their replacement crew. The crew is scheduled to go to bed at 1 p.m. CDT today.
Both spacecraft continue to orbit the Earth at an average altitude of 240 statute miles.
The next mission status report will be issued about 6 p.m. Monday or as events warrant.
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