Discovery’s astronauts were awakened at 3:40 a.m. Central time this morning to begin their final full day in orbit and make preparations to assure that Discovery is ready for entry and landing. Today’s wake-up song was "Voyage into Space," an original composition written for John Glenn by composer and pianist Peter Nero, a long-time friend of the Glenns.
Commander Curt Brown and Pilot Steve Lindsey will spend a good part of their day checking out important spacecraft systems for entry and landing. At about 7:20 a.m. Central time, the commander and pilot will begin the flight control system checkout, powering up one auxiliary power unit and evaluating the performance of aerodynamic surfaces and flight controls. The flight crew will perform a reaction control system hot fire about 8:30 a.m., followed by a test of the communications system.
At about 12:30 p.m. Central time, the crew will begin stowing the equipment used to conduct the mission’s array of on-board science activities. Just before turning in for the night, Lindsey will stow the Ku-band antenna, which provides high data-rate relay and television.
The flight control teams in the Mission Control Center are also preparing for Saturday’s landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Preliminary weather forecasts indicate generally favorable weather to support Saturday’s landing at 11:06 a.m. Central time. Remnants of tropical storm Mitch have passed through the area and moved off Florida’s east coast.
Discovery is orbiting the Earth every 95 minutes at an altitude of about 341 statute miles with all systems operating well.
The next STS-95 status report will be issued at approximately 6 p.m. Central time Friday.
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