Status Report

STS-102 Status Report #25 – 20 Mar 2001 – 7:00 AM CST

By SpaceRef Editor
March 20, 2001
Filed under ,

All of Discovery’s
systems are checked out for landing, with Commander Jim Wetherbee and
his team ready to escort home the first International Space Station
expedition crew late Tuesday.

Landing is scheduled
for 11:56 p.m. CST Tuesday (12:56 a.m. EST Wednesday), but Entry Flight
Director Wayne Hale and his team are carefully watching weather conditions
at the primary landing site. With low clouds, possible rain and gusty
crosswinds expected at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Hale decided
to activate support at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Wednesday
when conditions are expected to be at their best this week.

The first landing
opportunity begins with a deorbit burn on Orbit 200 at 10:50 p.m. CST
Tuesday and ends with landing at 11:56 p.m. in Florida. The second opportunity
on Orbit 201 starts with an engine firing at 12:26 a.m. CST Wednesday
and ends with landing in Florida at 1:31 a.m. The third chance calls
for an Orbit 202 deorbit burn at 1:57 a.m. CST Wednesday and landing
at Edwards at 3:02 a.m. The final prospect of the crew day begins with
an engine firing at 3:33 a.m. CST Wednesday and ends with a California
landing at 4:38 a.m.

Wetherbee and the
shuttle crew ñ Pilot Jim Kelly and Mission Specialists Andy Thomas
and Paul Richards ñ spent the day packing for the trip home and
completing checks of the steering jets and flight controls the shuttle
will use. They also fired Discovery’s orbital maneuvering system
engines to adjust the shuttle’s orbit and optimize landing opportunities,
testing the braking rockets they use to begin re-entering the Earth’s

ISS Expedition
One Commander Bill Shepherd and crewmates Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev
took time out from their packing to answer questions posed by three
television news reporters. Tonight, the returning Expedition One crew
members will set up the reclining seats to help ease the stress of landing
on their bodies, which have not experienced gravity for four and a half

Meanwhile, the
Expedition Two crew aboard the station ñ Commander Yury Usachev
and Flight Engineers Susan Helms and Jim Voss ñ began settling
into their new home and shift schedule. Awakening at midnight Tuesday,
they began their daily exercise regimen and set up the station toilet
for use by its first female crew member.

The crew aboard
Discovery is scheduled to begin its sleep shift at 7:42 a.m. CST and
wake up to begin final landing preparations at 3:42 p.m. Bedtime for
the station crew is 3:30 p.m. CST.

SpaceRef staff editor.