NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour Set to Land Tuesday
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour crew, led by Commander Scott Kelly, is scheduled to complete a 13-day mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, Aug. 21. The STS-118 mission began Aug. 8 and installed a new gyroscope, an external spare parts platform and another truss segment to the expanding station.
NASA managers will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Endeavour to return to Earth. Tuesday's landing opportunities are at 12:32 p.m. and 2:06 p.m. EDT. The backup landing site at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., is available but likely will not be considered for Tuesday. The other backup site at White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., will not be activated on Tuesday.
Two hours after landing, NASA officials will hold a briefing to discuss the mission. The participants are:
- NASA Administrator Michael Griffin
- NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier
- NASA Space Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach
After touchdown, the astronauts will undergo physical examinations and meet with their families. Some crew members are expected to hold a news conference six hours after returning to Earth.
The Kennedy press site will open for landing activities at 8 a.m. Tuesday and close one hour after the crew news conference. The STS-118 accreditation badges are in effect through landing. The press accreditation building on State Road 3 will be open on Tuesday from 8 to 11 a.m. The last bus will depart from the press site for the Shuttle Landing Facility one hour before landing. For updated information about the landing, call 321-867-2525.
If weather prevents a Kennedy landing Tuesday, NASA will activate backup landing sites for attempts on Wednesday. Dryden has limited facilities available to previously accredited journalists. For further information, call the Dryden Public Affairs Office at 661-276-3449.
If White Sands Space Harbor is called up for strong consideration as a shuttle landing site, media desiring credentials there should contact the White Sands Missile Range Public Affairs Office at 505-678-1134. Journalists with STS-118 mission badges from NASA will be issued credentials.
NASA managers moved Endeavour's return up a day in case Hurricane Dean threatened mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. However, the storm is not expected to affect landing.
For the latest information on the STS-118 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
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