September 11, 2009

Shuttle Landing Opportunities In Florida, California

There are four opportunities at two landing sites to bring space shuttle Discovery and its crew home to Earth today after a flight to resupply the International Space Station and deliver a new crew member.

Poor weather conditions forced a waveoff of two attempts to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida yesterday. There are two more chances to land in Florida today, but Entry Flight Director Richard Jones also has activated landing support at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for today's landing opportunities because of a forecast of continued unstable weather conditions in Florida.

Commander Rick Sturckow and his crew were awakened at 8:32 a.m. CDT today with the song "Big Boy Toys" by Aaron Tippin, and they should be into the deorbit preparation timeline by 11:49 a.m.

The deorbit burn for the first KSC landing opportunity is at 3:41 p.m. with landing at 4:48 p.m. The second Florida landing window begins with a deorbit burn at 5:17 p.m. and ends with a landing at 6:23 p.m.

The first landing opportunity in California has a deorbit burn time of 6:47 p.m. with landing at 7:53 p.m. The second opportunity would start with a deorbit burn at 8:23 p.m. and end with a landing at 9:28 p.m.

A landing today will complete a two-week flight for Sturckow, Pilot Kevin Ford, and mission specialists Pat Forrester, Jose Hernandez, Danny Olivas and Christer Fuglesang. Today is the 58th day in space for their crewmate Tim Kopra, who launched on shuttle mission STS-127 in July and spent two months on the International Space Station as an Expedition 20 crew member.


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