7 p.m. CDT Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-128 MCC Status Report #27
HOUSTON – After monitoring weather right down to the wire, Mission Control reluctantly told Discovery’s astronauts that unstable conditions would not permit a landing Thursday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The STS-128 crew and ground teams will now turn their attention to four Friday landing opportunities, two in Florida and two in California.

Commander Rick Sturckow and Pilot Kevin Ford prepared Discovery for landing with help from Mission Specialists Pat Forrester, Jose Hernandez, Danny Olivas, Christer Fuglesang and Tim Kopra, closing the shuttle’s payload bay doors and drinking fluids to prepare their bodies for the return to Earth’s gravity.

Both landing opportunities in Florida were called off when unpredictable thunderstorms refused to dissipate as the evening progressed.

Entry Flight Director Richard Jones decided to activate landing field support crews at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Friday because of continued instability in weather conditions in Florida.

The first Friday opportunity in Florida would begin with a deorbit burn at 3:45 p.m. CDT, and result in a landing at 4:48 p.m. The second Florida landing window begins with a deorbit burn at 5:21 p.m., and ends with a landing at 6:23 p.m.

The first landing opportunity in California would begin with a deorbit burn at 6:50 p.m. CDT, and conclude with a landing at 7:53 p.m. The second opportunity would start with a deorbit burn at 8:26 p.m., and end with a landing at 9:28 p.m.

Discovery’s astronauts will remove their launch and entry suits and reconfigure Discovery for space operations before beginning their sleep shift at 12:29 a.m. Friday. The crew will awaken at 8:29 a.m. and repeat landing preparations.

The next shuttle status report will be issued after the crew awakens.

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