|Live Landing Coverage|
All times are EDT unless otherwise stated.|
The Virtual Launch Control Center was activated
Aug. 8, 2005 at 3:15 a.m. EDT.
The Virtual Launch Control Center was deactivated
Aug. 8, 2005 at 5:20 a.m. EDT.
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5:15 a.m. - Aboard Discovery, Commander Eileen Collins and her six crewmates are backing out of deorbit preparations and refocusing their efforts on tomorrow's landing opportunities. At Kennedy Space Center, there are opportunities at 5:07 a.m. and 6:43 a.m.; at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., at 8:12 a.m. and 9:47 a.m.; and at the landing facility at White Sands, New Mexico at 6:39 a.m. and 8:13 a.m.
5:04 a.m. - Discovery's landing attempts are waved off for today due to unstable weather. There are two opportunities at Kennedy tomorrow morning. The weather at the landing site is just too unstable this morning.
5:00 a.m. - We are standing by for the go/no-go decision on the deorbit burn from Entry Flight Director Leroy Cain.
Did you know?
A returning orbiter's glide to Kennedy Space Center begins on the opposite side of the planet. The deorbit burn that will bring the orbiter back to Earth takes place about an hour before landing.
4:40 a.m. - The go/no-go decision for the deorbit burn is coming up in about 15 minutes. The brilliant white Xenon lights at the Shuttle Landing Facility are shining brightly, and will stay at that setting unless reports from the Shuttle Training Aircraft change the needs. Landing will be about 25 minutes before sunrise.
Astronaut Kent Rominger is giving an optimistic forecast for this landing attempt at Runway 15. He is watching some low clouds between the 400 and 700 foot level.
Discovery is now 700 miles off the east coast of the United States.
4:20 a.m. - Discovery's seven-member crew is standing by, waiting for the final go/no-go decision from Mission Control on the deorbit burn, scheduled for 5:15 a.m. That decision is expected just before 5 a.m. Meanwhile, astronaut Kent Rominger is reporting improved conditions for the second landing opportunity. He's flying practice approaches at the Shuttle Landing Facility and his findings will be relayed to Commander Eileen Collins.
Did you know?
The orbiter's main landing gear touches down on the runway at 213 to 226 miles per hour. As the nose pitches down and makes contact with the runway, a 40-foot drag chute is deployed from the vehicle's aft end, and the orbiter rolls to a stop.
3:50 a.m. - Chief Astronaut Kent Rominger has just taken off in the newly refueled Shuttle Training Aircraft to continue weather reconnaissance. The conditions he observes will factor into whether or not Discovery will be able to make the second landing opportunity today.
3:45 a.m. - On board Discovery, Commander Eileen Collins and her crewmates began preparations early this morning for today's landing. Part of these preparations included closing the orbiter's payload bay doors at 1:05 a.m.
3:41 a.m. - The International Space Station is trailing Discovery by a little over 200 miles at this time, passing over Malaysia.
3:30 a.m. - Mission control is giving instructions to Pilot Jim Kelly so he can set up Discovery for the second landing attempt this morning. There's a possibility the clouds that foiled this morning's first landing opportunity will dissipate in time for the second, but it's too early to tell at this time.
3:25 a.m. - Weather forecasts will continue to be updated as the morning goes on. Kent Rominger has landed the Shuttle Training Aircraft for refueling, and will then continue weather reconnaissance. A final go/no-go decision for the second landing opportunity will be made about 5 a.m. This deorbit would occur over the Indian Ocean, south-southeast of Sri Lanka.
3:20 a.m. - Capcom Ken Ham has told the Discovery crew that current observations at the landing site are no go due to unstable weather. NASA is waving off the first attempt. The second landing opportunity this morning is at 6:22 a.m. EDT.
3:15 a.m. - Welcome to live landing coverage with the Virtual Launch Control Center. We are standing by right now for a go/no-go decision on the deorbit burn, expected anytime now. The burn is planned for 3:39 a.m., but NASA is carefully monitoring the potential for low clouds at Kennedy Space Center. Chief Astronaut Kent Rominger is flying weather reconnaissance this morning at the landing site and is relaying weather information in real time.
Discovery is flying tail-first and upside down, so the two orbital maneuvering system engines on the orbiter's tail are facing into the direction of travel. The deorbit burn will last a little over three minutes and will slow orbiter enough to begin its descent back to Earth.
Discovery is expected to touch down on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at 4:46:44 a.m. There are two landing opportunities at Kennedy this morning.
Relive our live coverage of Space Shuttle Discovery's launch
July 26, 2005!
For a landing overview, visit:
+ Space Shuttle Landing 101
|Virtual Launch Control Center Team
Lynda Warnock (InDyne, Inc.)
Anna Heiney (InDyne, Inc.)
Charlie Plain and
Elaine Marconi (InDyne, Inc.)
Cheryl Mansfield (InDyne, Inc.)
Alysia Lee (InDyne, Inc.)
Chris Chamberland and
Michael Chambers (InDyne, Inc.)
Jeanne Ryba and Dennis Armstrong (NASA)