CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour crew is expected to complete its mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 1:19 p.m. EST on Sunday, Nov. 30. This will conclude a 16-day flight, 11 of which were spent docked to the station.
The STS-126 mission began Nov. 14 and prepared the space station to house six crew members for long-duration missions. The new station cargo includes a water recovery system, additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet and a resistance exercise device. During four spacewalks, the crew serviced the station's two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, which allow its solar arrays to track the sun, and installed new equipment in support of future assembly missions. The flight also delivered station resident Sandra Magnus to the outpost. Greg Chamitoff will return to Earth aboard Endeavour after spending more than five months aboard the complex.
The entry flight control team in Mission Control, Houston, will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Endeavour to return to Earth. Sunday landing opportunities at Kennedy are at 1:19 p.m. and 2:54 p.m. The secondary landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., will be activated Sunday for consideration as well. The opportunities at Edwards are 4:24 p.m. and 5:59 p.m.
Approximately two hours after landing, NASA officials will hold a media briefing to discuss the mission. The participants will be:
- Michael Griffin, NASA administrator
- Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations
- Mike Leinbach, NASA space shuttle launch director
After touchdown in Florida, the astronauts will undergo physical examinations and meet with their families. The STS-126 crew is expected to hold a news conference at approximately 6 p.m. Sunday. Both news events will be broadcast live on NASA Television. Media interested in participating in the news conference at Kennedy must pick up their accreditation badges on Sunday.
The Kennedy News Center will open for landing activities at 8 a.m. Sunday and close at 8 p.m. or one hour after the last media event. The STS-126 media badges are in effect through landing. The media accreditation building on State Road 3 will be open on Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. The last bus will depart from the news center for the Shuttle Landing Facility one hour before landing. For updated information about the landing, call 321-867-2525.
In the event landing is diverted to Edwards, media should call the Dryden public affairs office at 661-276-3449. Dryden has limited facilities available for use by previously accredited journalists.
For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:
For the latest information about the STS-126 mission, visit:
For more on the International Space Station, visit:
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