5 a.m. CST Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-126 MCC Status Report #32
Endeavour astronauts are beginning what is scheduled to be their flight’s landing day.

The crew members, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Eric Boe and Mission Specialists Don Pettit, Steve Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Shane Kimbrough and Greg Chamitoff, were awakened at 3:55 a.m. CST by the Rocky Theme, “Gonna Fly Now,” performed by Bill Conti. It was for Ferguson.

Endeavour’s first landing opportunity is at Kennedy Space Center on orbit 248. It would see a deorbit burn at 11:14 a.m. The orbiter’s ground track would take it along the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, across the Gulf of Mexico and cross the Florida coast south of Fort Myers. Landing would be at 12:19 p.m.

A second KSC opportunity is available Sunday. Its deorbit burn would be at 12:50 p.m. and a landing at 1:54 p.m. That track would take Endeavour across Mexico, cross its Gulf Coast near Tampico, then east across Florida to KSC.

KSC weather is questionable. Forecasts say rain, perhaps thunderstorms and crosswinds could prevent a landing there.

There are two Sunday opportunities to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The first, on orbit 250, would see a deorbit burn at 2:20 p.m. and a landing at 3:25 p.m. For the second, on orbit 251, the deorbit burn would be at 3:57 p.m. and the landing at 5 p.m.

Endeavour is winding up a mission that included more than 11 days at the International Space Station. It delivered equipment to help future expansion of the station crew from three to six persons. During four spacewalks, Endeavour astronauts cleaned, lubricated and installed new bearing assemblies in the starboard solar alpha rotary joint. The mission also took Expedition 18 flight engineer Sandra Magnus to the station and is bringing Chamitoff home after six months in space.

Magnus and fellow station crew members, Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov, are awaiting the arrival today of a new Progress unpiloted cargo carrier. Progress 31 brings almost 2.7 tons of fuel, air, water, propellant and other supplies and equipment to the orbiting laboratory. Launched Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, it is scheduled to dock at 6:25 a.m.

The next shuttle status report will be issued after landing, at the end of the crew day, or earlier if events warrant.

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