Activities aboard Endeavour today focused on preparations for Monday’s planned landing at the Kennedy Space Center, concluding a voyage of 4.9 million miles.
Today, Commander Ken Cockrell, Pilot Paul Lockhart and Flight Engineer Franklin Chang-Diaz activated one of three hydraulic power units on Endeavour, tested all of its aerosurfaces, and then test-fired Endeavour’s steering jets. The remaining crew members – Philippe Perrin of CNES, and former Expedition Four crewmembers Yury Onufrienko, Carl Walz and Dan Bursch – continued packing up gear and hardware in anticipation of tomorrow’s landing.
Endeavour has two opportunities to land at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday. The first begins with a deorbit burn of the Orbital Maneuvering System engines at 10:51 a.m., followed by a landing at 11:59 a.m. Central time (12:59 p.m. Eastern.) In the event weather prevents a landing on that first opportunity, there is a second opportunity, beginning with a deorbit burn at 12:30 p.m. and resulting in a 1:36 p.m. Central (2:36 p.m. Eastern) landing in Florida. Preliminary weather forecasts call for the possibility of clouds and rain showers within the vicinity of the three-mile long landing strip on Monday. The backup landing site at California’s Edwards Air Force Base was not called up for support Monday. Endeavour has sufficient consumables to remain in orbit, if necessary, until Thursday.
Onufrienko, Bursch and Walz took a few minutes this afternoon to talk with Fox News, WOIO-TV of Cleveland – Walz’ hometown, and WICZ-TV of Vestal, NY – Bursch’s hometown. The crew extended their best wishes on this Father’s Day and discussed their 193-day stay in space. With an on-time landing Monday, Onufrienko, Bursch and Walz will have spent 194 days in space.
Meanwhile, aboard the space station, the Expedition Five crew – Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev – spent today settling into their new home, unpacking some of the equipment and hardware carried to the station by Endeavour. They also enjoyed a few hours of off-duty time today.
Endeavour’s crew will begin a scheduled eight-hour sleep period at 7:23 p.m. today, waking just before 3:30 a.m. Monday to prepare for a homecoming to the Kennedy Space Center.
The next STS-111 status report will be issued Monday morning or earlier if events warrant.
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