Discovery's astronauts will remain in space another day after rains near Edwards Air Force Base prevented landing on either of two opportunities at the California site. Discovery had two landing opportunities at Kennedy Space Center, but high winds there made landing weather unacceptable.
After carefully watching cloud cover at Edwards and getting observations from Astronaut Kent Rominger flying weather reconnaissance, entry flight director Leroy Cain decided about 3:30 p.m. CDT to wave-off the first attempt, which would have seen a landing at 4:58 p.m. CDT. Landing on second attempt would have been at Edwards at 6:35 p.m. The decision for the second wave-off came at 4:27 p.m.
Landing criteria call for no rain within 30 miles of the runway. Showers were observed on the edge of that circle, and forecasters continued to predict unacceptable conditions.
Discovery will have two opportunities to land at KSC Tuesday, though weather there is predicted to be unacceptable. Discovery is not expected to attempt a landing on the first opportunity, at 12:52 p.m. CDT. They will look at the second opportunity, for 2:28 p.m. Edwards weather is predicted to be acceptable. The first landing opportunity there would see a burn of the orbital maneuvering engines at 2:54 p.m. CDT and a landing at 3:59 p.m. The second has a deorbit burn at 4:31 p.m. and a landing at 5:35 p.m.
For the second consecutive day, the crew performed "deorbit backout" procedures after the last wave-off, undoing the preparations they had made to come home. And again, flight controllers in Houston will work through the night and into Tuesday morning to develop a re-entry strategy.
Discovery's crew will go to bed tonight shortly after 9 p.m. and be awakened tomorrow at 5:17 a.m. to once again begin preparations for a return trip home.
The next status report will be issued at 6 a.m. Tuesday or as events warrant.
Note to Editors: The JSC newsroom will be closed during the STS-92 crew's sleep period for the remainder of the flight. The newsroom will open for business beginning at 5 a.m. CDT each day.
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