From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Sunday, August 7, 2005
Discovery's crew is spending what should be its last night in space, with an early morning landing planned Monday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, concluding a voyage of 5.35 million miles.
In preparation for tomorrow's 3:47 a.m. CDT landing, Commander Eileen Collins, Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialist Steve Robinson activated one of three hydraulic systems on Discovery and tested all of its aerosurfaces and steering jets. The rest of the crew - Andy Thomas, Soichi Noguchi, Wendy Lawrence and Charlie Camarda - completed packing up gear and hardware. The seven-member crew took a moment early this morning to talk with CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and ABC, discussing their mission and upcoming return to Earth.
Discovery has two opportunities to land at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday. The first begins with a 3 minute, 7 second deorbit burn of the Orbital Maneuvering System engines at 2:40 a.m., followed by landing at 3:47 a.m. CDT.
In the event weather prevents landing on that first opportunity, a second is available, with deorbit burn at 4:15 a.m. resulting in a 5:22 a.m. CDT landing. It will be the 15th night landing in Florida and 20th overall for the Space Shuttle Program.
Weather forecasters predict favorable conditions with light and variable winds and a slight chance of showers in the vicinity of the three-mile-long landing strip. The backup site at California's Edwards Air Force Base was not activated for Monday.
On the International Space Station, Commander Sergei Krikalev and NASA Science Officer John Phillips had a light-duty day as flight controllers added the fourth Control Moment Gyroscope to the Station's attitude control mix. For the first time since June 2002, the Station has use of all four 600-pound units. Noguchi and Robinson replaced one CMG and restored power to another during spacewalks.
The next STS-114 mission status report will be issued late Sunday, or earlier if events warrant.
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