Status Report

Endeavour Scheduled to Land at KSC Completing Mission STS-97

By SpaceRef Editor
December 8, 2000
Filed under ,

KSC Release No.: 106-00

Landing at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) is slated to occur on orbit 171 at mission elapsed time 10 days, 19 hours,
58 minutes. Deorbit burn will occur at about 5 p.m. EST.

The two KSC landing opportunities Monday are: 6:04 p.m. and 7:40 p.m. EST.

If managers must keep Endeavour in orbit an additional day, two additional landing opportunities are available Tuesday at KSC
at 4:53 p.m. and 6:28 p.m. EST.

Two landing opportunities also exist at the back-up landing location at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), Calif., on Monday and

Monday’s landing opportunities will be nighttime events. If landing occurs on schedule, it will be the 16th nighttime Shuttle
landing in the history of the program. It will also mark the 53rd landing at KSC.

SLF and KSC Ground Operations

The Shuttle Landing Facility was built in 1975. It is 300 feet wide and 15,000 feet long with 1,000-foot overruns at each
end. The strip runs northwest to southeast and is located about 3 miles northwest of the 525-foot tall Vehicle Assembly

Once the orbiter is on the ground, safing operations will commence and the flight crew will prepare the vehicle for
post-landing operations. The Crew Transport Vehicle (CTV) will be used to assist the crew, allowing them to leave the
vehicle and remove their launch and re-entry suits easier and quicker.

The CTV and other KSC landing convoy operations have been “on-call” since the launch of Endeavour. The primary functions
of the Space Shuttle recovery convoy are to provide immediate service to the orbiter after landing, assist crew egress, and
prepare the orbiter for towing to the Orbiter Processing Facility.

Convoy vehicles are stationed at the SLF’s mid-point. About two hours prior to landing, convoy personnel will don SCAPE
suits, or
Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble, and communications checks are made. A warming-up of coolant and purge
equipment is conducted and nearly two-dozen convoy vehicles are positioned to move onto the runway as quickly and as
safely as possible once the orbiter coasts to a stop. When the vehicle is deemed safe of all potential explosive hazards and
toxic gases, the purge and coolant umbilical access vehicles move into position at the rear of the orbiter.

Following purge and coolant operations, flight crew egress preparations will begin and the CTV will be moved into position at
the crew access hatch located on the orbiter’s port side. A physician will board the Shuttle and conduct a brief preliminary
examination of the astronauts. The crew will then make preparations to leave the vehicle.

Following departure from the SLF, the crew will be taken to their quarters in the O&C Building, meet with their families and
undergo physical examinations. The crew is scheduled to remain at KSC overnight and depart for Johnson Space Center on

If Endeavour lands at Edwards, an augmented KSC convoy team will be on-site to safe the vehicle, disembark the crew and
move the orbiter to the Mate/Demate Device. The turnaround team will be deployed to Edwards by charter aircraft on
landing day.

About 3 hours after Endeavour lands at KSC, the orbiter will be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility for post-flight

SpaceRef staff editor.