Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
April 18, 2002
Note to Editors:
Atlantis Scheduled To Land At KSC April 19
The orbiter Atlantis is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Friday, April 19, at about 12:26 p.m. EDT completing the nearly 11-day STS-110 mission to deliver and install the S0 truss on the International Space Station. Atlantis launched from KSC on April 8, 2002.
Landing at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) is slated to occur on orbit 170 at mission elapsed time 10 days, 19 hours, 42 minutes. The deorbit burn will occur at about 11:20 a.m. EDT. The two KSC landing opportunities on April 19 are at 12:26 p.m. EDT and at 2:03 p.m. EDT.
If managers must keep Atlantis in orbit an additional day, two landing opportunities are available on Saturday, April 20, at KSC at 11:18 a.m. EDT and at 12:53 p.m. EDT. Two landing opportunities also exist at the back-up landing location at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), Calif., on Saturday, at 2:24 p.m. EDT and at 3:59 p.m. EDT.
If landing occurs as scheduled, it will be the 59th landing at KSC in the history of the Shuttle program. Following touchdown, Atlantis will be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility for post-mission servicing.
About an hour after touchdown, the crew will be taken to crew quarters in the O&C Building, meet with their families and undergo physical examinations. The Shuttle crew is scheduled to depart for Johnson Space Center the day following landing.
If Atlantis lands at Edwards, an augmented KSC convoy team will be on-site to safe the vehicle, disembark the crew and move the orbiter to the Mate/Demate Device. The turnaround team will be deployed to Edwards by charter aircraft on landing day. -- end of general release -- SLF and KSC Ground Operations
The Shuttle Landing Facility was built in 1975. It is 300 feet wide and 15,000 feet long with 1,000-foot overruns at each end. The strip runs northwest to southeast and is located about three miles northwest of the 525-foot tall Vehicle Assembly Building.
Once the orbiter is on the ground, safing operations will commence and the flight crew will prepare the vehicle for post-landing operations. The Crew Transport Vehicle (CTV) will be used to assist the crew, allowing them to leave the vehicle and remove their launch and re-entry suits easier and quicker.
The CTV and other KSC landing convoy operations have been "on-call" since the launch of Atlantis. The primary functions of the Space Shuttle recovery convoy are to provide immediate service to the orbiter after landing, assist crew egress, and prepare the orbiter for towing to the Orbiter Processing Facility about three hours following touchdown.
Convoy vehicles are stationed at the SLF's mid-point. About two hours prior to landing, convoy personnel don SCAPE suits, or Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble, and communications checks are made. A warming-up of coolant and purge equipment is conducted and nearly two-dozen convoy vehicles are positioned to move onto the runway as quickly and as safely as possible once the orbiter coasts to a stop. When the vehicle is deemed safe of all potential explosive hazards and toxic gases, the purge and coolant umbilical access vehicles move into position at the rear of the orbiter.
Following purge and coolant operations, flight crew egress preparations will begin and the CTV will be moved into position at the crew access hatch located on the orbiter's port side. A physician will board the Shuttle and conduct a brief preliminary examination of the astronauts. The crew will then make preparations to leave the vehicle. NOTICE TO EDITORS:
The KSC press site will open for landing activities at 8 a.m. Friday, April 19. Accredited news media wishing to view Atlantis' landing should be at the KSC News Center by 10:30 a.m. for transport to the SLF. STS-110 launch badging requirements and security restrictions for the media remain in effect. Media parking will be at Gate 3 on S.R. 405. Additional information regarding accreditation, transportation to the KSC Press Site, landing photo opportunities, post-landing press conferences with the STS-110 crew, and News Center operational hours is available by calling the KSC News Center.
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