Press Release

Space Shuttle Discovery Crew Set to Return to Earth Thursday

By SpaceRef Editor
September 8, 2009
Filed under , , ,
Space Shuttle Discovery Crew Set to Return to Earth Thursday

Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew are expected to return to Earth Thursday after a 13-day mission. Two landing opportunities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are available at 7:05 p.m. and 8:42 p.m. EDT.

NASA will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Discovery and its crew to land. If bad weather prevents a return on Thursday, both Kennedy and the backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base in California will be activated for consideration on Friday. For recorded updates about landing, call 321-867-2525.

Approximately two hours after landing, NASA officials will hold a briefing to discuss the mission. The participants will be:

— Mike Moses, space shuttle launch integration manager

— Simonetta Di Pippo, European Space Agency’s director of human spaceflight

— Pete Nickolenko, STS-128 launch director

After touchdown in Florida, the astronauts will undergo physical examinations and meet with their families. They are expected to make brief remarks at the runway. The news events will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s Web site.

The Kennedy news center will open for landing activities at 8 a.m. Thursday and close at 10 p.m. or one hour after the last media event.

The STS-128 media badges are in effect through landing. The media accreditation building on State Road 3 will be open Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The last bus will depart from the news center for the Shuttle Landing Facility one hour before landing.

If the landing is diverted to Edwards, news media should call the Dryden public affairs office at 661-276-3449. Dryden has limited facilities available for previously accredited journalists.

The NASA News Twitter feed is updated throughout the shuttle mission and landing. To access the feed, visit:

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

For the latest information about the STS-128 mission and accomplishments, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.