Kennedy News

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center

Oct. 17, 2002
RELEASE : 100-02
Note to Editors:
Atlantis Scheduled To Land At KSC Oct. 18
The orbiter Atlantis is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Friday, Oct. 18, at about 11:44 a.m. EDT completing the 11-day STS-112 mission to deliver and install the S1 Integrated Truss Segment and a Crew Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) cart on the International Space Station. Atlantis launched from KSC on Oct. 7, 2002, at 3:46 p.m. EDT.

Landing at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) is slated to occur on orbit 170 at mission elapsed time 10 days, 19 hours, 58 minutes. The deorbit burn will occur at about 10:36 a.m. EDT. A second KSC landing opportunity is also available on Oct. 18 at 1:21 p.m. EDT with a deorbit burn coming at 12:16 p.m. EDT. No landing opportunities are planned for the back-up landing location at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), Calif., on Friday.

If managers must keep Atlantis in orbit an additional day, two landing opportunities are available at KSC on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 10:31 a.m. EDT and at 12:06 p.m. EDT.

If landing occurs as scheduled, it will be the 60th landing at KSC in the history of the Shuttle program. Following landing, Atlantis will be serviced and prepared for its next mission, STS-114, scheduled for launch in March 2003.

About an hour after touchdown, the STS-112 crew will be taken to their KSC quarters to meet with their families and undergo initial physical examinations. A post-mission press conference with select members of the STS-112 crew is scheduled to occur at the KSC News Center about six hours after touchdown.

If Atlantis lands at Edwards, an augmented KSC convoy team will be on-site to safe the vehicle, disembark the crew and move the orbiter to the Mate/Demate Device. The turnaround team will be deployed to Edwards by charter aircraft on landing day.

-- end of general release --

SLF and KSC Ground Operations

The Shuttle Landing Facility was built in 1975. It is 300 feet wide and 15,000 feet long with 1,000-foot overruns at each end. The strip runs northwest to southeast and is located about three miles northwest of the 525-foot tall Vehicle Assembly Building. Once the orbiter is on the ground, safing operations will commence and the flight crew will prepare the vehicle for post-landing operations. The Crew Transport Vehicle (CTV) will be used to assist the crew, allowing them to leave the vehicle and remove their launch and re-entry suits easier and quicker.

The CTV and other KSC landing convoy operations have been "on-call" since the launch of Atlantis. The primary functions of the Space Shuttle recovery convoy are to provide immediate service to the orbiter after landing, assist crew egress, and prepare the orbiter for towing to the processing facility a few hours following touchdown.

Convoy vehicles are stationed at the SLF's mid-point. About two hours prior to landing, convoy personnel don SCAPE suits, or Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble, and communications checks are made. A warming-up of coolant and purge equipment is conducted and nearly two-dozen convoy vehicles are positioned to move onto the runway as quickly and as safely as possible once the orbiter coasts to a stop. When the vehicle is deemed safe of all potential explosive hazards and toxic gases, the purge and coolant umbilical access vehicles move into position at the rear of the orbiter.

Following purge and coolant operations, flight crew egress preparations will begin and the CTV will be moved into position at the crew access hatch located on the orbiter's port side. A physician will board the Shuttle and conduct a brief preliminary examination of the astronauts. The crew will then make preparations to leave the vehicle.


NOTICE TO EDITORS: The KSC press site will open for landing activities at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18. Accredited news media wishing to view Atlantis' landing should be at the KSC News Center by 10:30 a.m. for transport to the SLF. STS-112 launch badging requirements and security restrictions for the media remain in effect. Media parking will be at Gate 3 on S.R. 405. Additional information regarding accreditation, transportation to the KSC Press Site, landing photo opportunities, post-landing press conferences with the STS-112 crew, and News Center operational hours is available by calling the KSC News Center at 321-867-2468.


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