6 p.m. CDT, Monday, Aug. 20, 2007
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-118 MCC Status Report #25
Space shuttle Endeavour’s crew spent – weather permitting – their last full day on orbit today getting their ship ready to return home Tuesday with two landing opportunities available at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 11:32 a.m. and 1:06 p.m.
The shuttle was deemed in good shape for landing this morning, after analysis on Sunday’s final inspection of the wing leading edges and nose cap was completed. Commander Scott Kelly, Pilot Charles Hobaugh, and Mission Specialist Rick Mastracchio reinforced that assessment with successful checks of the shuttle flight control systems. Kelly and Hobaugh spent time on their computers practicing landing simulations and the entire crew, including mission specialists Tracy Caldwell, Dave Williams, Barbara Morgan and Alvin Drew, got ready for return by stowing equipment and supplies.
Kelly and Morgan also joined Williams for a Canadian Space Agency educational event with children from Williams' home province, Saskatchewan, in Canada. The astronauts fielded questions from seventh and eighth graders on subjects ranging from whether astronauts grow in space, how microgravity affects bone density and what you need to know to operate the Canadarm.
With weather forecasts showing Hurricane Dean making landfall far from Johnson Space Center, the plan for Tuesday now calls for landing attempts only at Kennedy Space Center.
The crew is scheduled to begin their sleep period at 7:36 p.m., and wake up at 3:36 a.m. on Tuesday. Deorbit preparations will begin at 6:26 a.m.
The next STS-118 status report will be issued Tuesday morning or earlier if events warrant.