From: Johnson Space Center
Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The space shuttle Atlantis crew enjoyed a day off, answered reporters' questions and chatted with colleagues on the International Space Station today. They'll switch gears on Thursday and get ready for landing.
Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Greg Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Good, Megan McArthur, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Andrew Feustel fielded questions for about 40 minutes from reporters at NASA centers before lunch.
After lunch, the crew had a chance to talk with Expedition 19 Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata on the International Space Station during a ship-to-ship call as the two vehicles circled the Earth in different orbits. Later in the day, the station crew toasted the first use of the stationís new water recycling system with fellow astronauts, engineers, flight controllers and program officials on the ground.
The Hubble Space Telescope servicing crew will turn their attention to landing tomorrow, stowing gear that has been used over the course of 10 days in orbit and five spacewalks. They'll also check the reaction control system thrusters and flight control systems that will be used to control their reentry and descent through the atmosphere.
Mission managers completed their review of the late inspection of the shuttle's wing leading edge and nosecap heat shield, and cleared the entire thermal protection system for safe entry. Landing is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. CDT Friday at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, weather permitting.
The crew is due to go to sleep at 6:01 p.m. The next status report will be issued after the crew awakens at 2:01 a.m., or earlier if events warrant.
// end //