Status Report

Atlantis’ Reaction Control System Jets Fire Normally

By SpaceRef Editor
July 20, 2011
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Atlantis’ Reaction Control System Jets Fire Normally

Space shuttle Atlantis’ astronauts activated one of the ship’s three auxiliary power units, APU 1, and performed a checkout of the orbiter’s flight control surfaces. This standard day-before-entry test assures the crew and Mission Control that Atlantis’ elevons and speed brake will provide control once the shuttle enters the atmosphere for Thursday’s landing.

Soon, the crew will “hotfire” Atlantis’ 44 reaction control system thruster jets to verify their ability to steer the shuttle through its entry profile before it encounters the atmosphere.

The Flight Dynamics Officer in Mission Control has slightly updated the times for Atlantis’ two Thursday landing opportunities at Kennedy Space Center:

Orbit 200
Deorbit burn – 4:49:04 a.m. EDT
Landing – 5:56:58 a.m. EDT

Orbit 201
Deorbit burn – 6:25:44 a.m. EDT
Landing – 7:32:55 a.m. EDT

SpaceRef staff editor.