1:30 p.m. CDT Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
STS-132 MCC Status Report #23
HOUSTON – Atlantis astronauts spent Tuesday getting ready to come home. Their first landing opportunity is Wednesday at 7:48 a.m. CDT at Kennedy Space Center.

The crew, Commander Ken Ham, Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen and Piers Sellers started standard day-before-landing activities early in their workday.

Ham, Antonelli and Good began the flight control system checkout at about 2:40 a.m., operating the rudder and flaps that will control Atlantis’ flight through the atmosphere to the Florida runway. That complete, Ham and Antonelli fired each of the shuttle’s 44 attitude control thrusters that orient Atlantis in space as it descends from orbit and through the upper atmosphere. Both those tests were completed successfully.

All crew members worked at various times throughout the day to stow items in the cabin to prepare for landing. The crew gathered for a 30-minute deorbit briefing at 6:40 a.m. Immediately afterward they talked with representatives of The Colbert Report, ABC Radio Network and WEWS-TV of Cleveland.

Late in their day, Reisman and Sellers stowed the Ku-band antenna in Atlantis’ cargo bay. The high-data-rate antenna transmits, among other things, television from the shuttle.

Wednesday weather forecasts for Kennedy Space Center were generally favorable, though there was a chance of showers within 30 miles of the runway. There is a second opportunity Wednesday at KSC at 9:23 a.m. Thursday has two KSC landing opportunities, at 8:13 a.m. and 9:48 a.m. Atlantis’ thermal protection system was cleared Tuesday for re-entry.

The next status report will be issued before after crew wakeup, or earlier if warranted.

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