Flight controllers will once again closely watch weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center in hope of bringing Endeavour and its seven-member crew home today.
There are two landing opportunities in Florida today. The first begins with a deorbit firing of Endeavour's engines at 11:51 a.m. resulting in a 12:57 p.m. Central Time landing. If weather does not permit a landing on the first opportunity, there is a second, with a deorbit burn at 1:27 p.m. resulting in a 2:33 p.m. Central Time landing.
Preliminary forecasts for today continue to show low cloud ceilings, possible windy conditions and rain at the Florida landing site. A clearing trend is expected over the next 24 hours with improved conditions in the vicinity of the Kennedy Space Center on Saturday. The alternate shuttle landing site at Edwards Air Force Base in California will be called up for support as well on Saturday.
There are two landing opportunities available at both the Kennedy Space Center and Edwards Air Force Base on Saturday, if required. The first of two opportunities in Florida would see Endeavour land at 1:37 p.m. Central Time, with a second opportunity at 3:14 p.m. Central. The times for a California landing are 4:45 p.m. Central and 6:22 p.m. Central.
Endeavour's seven-member crew includes Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Mike Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington, and the returning International Space Station Expedition Five crew of Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev. Korzun, Whitson and Treschev are now in their 184th day in space.
Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition Six crew is completing its first week in orbit. Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit have been busy at work stowing away the supplies and hardware carried to orbit by Endeavour. They also are preparing for Thursday's scheduled 6 ½ hour-long spacewalk to be conducted by Bowersox and Budarin. NASA Television coverage of the spacewalk begins at 7 a.m., with the start of the spacewalk slated for 8 a.m. Central.
The next Mission Control Center Status Report will be issued Friday afternoon or sooner if events warrant.
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