A stalled cold front at the Kennedy Space Center, resulting in low clouds and overcast weather, will keep Endeavour aloft for another 24 hours. For the third consecutive day, flight controllers were forced to wave off opportunities to bring Endeavour home to Florida.
There are a total of four landing opportunities on Saturday, two in Florida and two at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The Kennedy Space Center remains the primary landing site, with improved weather conditions predicted. Preliminary forecasts at KSC currently show the potential for continuing cloud cover, but generally improved conditions. Weather at Edwards Air Force Base is expected to be acceptable to support a landing.
The first opportunity for Endeavour to return to Florida would see a deorbit burn at 12:32 p.m. Central Time with landing at 1:37 p.m. Central. The second opportunity of the day begins with a deorbit firing of Endeavour's engines at 2:09 p.m. with landing at 3:15 p.m. Central. If weather conditions require Endeavour to land at the alternate site in California, the first opportunity would be at 4:45 p.m., with a second opportunity at 6:22 p.m. Central.
Flight controllers will carefully monitor weather forecasts on both coasts overnight as they prepare to bring Endeavour home Saturday. A landing tomorrow will conclude a 185-day stay in space for the returning Expedition Five crew - Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev - and a 14-day mission for the STS-113 crew of Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, and Mission Specialists Mike Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington. The next Mission Control Center Status Report will be issued following Endeavour's landing or earlier if events warrant.
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