Status Report

NASA STS-119 Report #24 Friday, March 27, 2009 – 7:00 a.m. CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
March 27, 2009
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NASA STS-119 Report #24  Friday, March 27, 2009 – 7:00 a.m. CDT

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

The astronauts on space shuttle Discovery will spend today getting themselves and their ship ready to wrap up their mission with a Saturday afternoon landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The crew’s wakeup song, “Bright Side of the Road” by Van Morrison, was played at 4:13 a.m. CDT for Mission Specialist Richard Arnold.

While their crewmates begin stowing items in the crew cabin this morning, Commander Lee Archambault, Pilot Tony Antonelli and Flight Engineer Steve Swanson will check out Discovery’s flight control surfaces, which guide the orbiter’s unpowered flight through the atmosphere, and test fire the reaction control system thrusters, which control the shuttle’s orientation as it begins its re-entry through the atmosphere.

After a full crew deorbit preparation briefing, all seven crew members will crowd onto the flight deck at 12:03 p.m. to talk about their flight with students gathered at Punahou School in Honolulu.

This afternoon they’ll continue packing for entry and landing, including stowing the antenna for the Ku band communications system, which is used for high data rate communications including television transmission. Mission Specialists John Phillips and Sandra Magnus will set up a recumbent seat on the middeck for Magnus so she can recline during the shuttle’s return to Earth, to ease her body’s transition to a gravity environment after more than four months as an International Space Station crew member.

Meanwhile, the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, NASA astronaut Michael Barratt and spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi is closing in on the International Space Station; docking is scheduled for 8:14 a.m. Saturday. Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov are scheduled for Soyuz deorbit refresher training today as they await the arrival of their replacements. Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency continues his familiarization with station systems and operations.

The next status report will be issued this evening or earlier if events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.