NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour to Land Wednesday
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour crew is expected to complete its 16-day flight to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, March 26.
The STS-123 mission began March 11 and delivered the first segment of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agency's two-armed robotic system, known as Dextre. The flight also brought a new crew member to the station and will return an astronaut who has spent nearly seven weeks aboard the complex.
NASA managers will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Endeavour to return to Earth. Wednesday landing opportunities at Kennedy are at 7:05 p.m. EDT and 8:39 p.m. The shuttle's backup sites for landing, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., will not be activated Wednesday.
Two hours after landing, NASA officials will hold a media briefing to discuss the mission. The participants will be:
- Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Space Operations
- Kaoru Mamiya, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency vice president
- Canadian Space Agency representative
- Mike Leinbach, NASA Space Shuttle Launch Director
After touchdown, the astronauts will undergo physical examinations and meet with their families. The STS-123 crew is expected to hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27. Both news events will be broadcast live on NASA Television. Media interested in participating must pick-up their badges on March 26.
The Kennedy News Center will open for landing activities at 8 a.m. Wednesday and close at 11:59 p.m. The STS-123 accreditation badges are in effect through landing. The media accreditation building on State Road 3 will be open on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 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 that landing is diverted to backup landing sites later in the week, media should call the Dryden public affairs office at 661-276-3449 or the White Sands Missile Range public affairs office at 505-678-1134. Dryden has limited facilities available to previously accredited journalists. Journalists with STS-123 mission badges from NASA will be issued credentials at White Sands Missile Range.
For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For the latest information about the STS-123 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
For more on the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
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