After traveling nearly 5 million miles on a successful mission to the International Space Station, Endeavour is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida today.
Endeavour completed all major objectives of its STS-111 flight. Expedition 5 crewmembers were taken to the station while Expedition 4 crewmembers are coming home. Tons of equipment and supplies were transferred between the two spacecraft and three spacewalks replaced the wrist roll joint of the station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, and gave the arm a mobile base for future station assembly and maintenance work.
Endeavour has two landing opportunities at KSC today. The first begins with the firing of Endeavour's braking rockets at 10:51 a.m. and a landing at 11:59 a.m. CDT. A second opportunity for a Florida landing would see the deorbit burn at 12:30 p.m. and a landing at KSC at 1:36 p.m. CDT. Preliminary weather forecasts call for the possibility of clouds and rain showers in the area of the three-mile-long landing strip on Monday. The backup landing site at California's Edwards Air Force Base was not activated today. Endeavour has enough consumables to stay in orbit until Thursday.
Endeavour Commander Ken Cockrell, Pilot Paul Lockhart, and Mission Specialists Philippe Perrin and Franklin Chang-Diaz, and Expedition 4 crewmembers Yury Onufrienko, Carl Walz and Dan Bursch were awakened at 3:23 a.m. by the "The Eyes of Texas," performed by the University of Texas Marching Band. Cockrell and Lockhart hold degrees from that university.
Meanwhile, aboard the ISS, the Expedition 5 crew - Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev - is still settling into its new home, unpacking the supplies and equipment delivered by Endeavour to the station.
The next STS-111 status report will be issued after landing, or as events warrant.
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