Status Report

STS-104, Mission Control Center Status Report # 24 Monday, July 23, 2001 – 4 p.m. CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
July 23, 2001
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Atlantis Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Charlie Hobaugh and
Mission Specialists Janet Kavandi, Mike Gernhardt and Jim
Reilly were awakened at 3:04 p.m. CDT to begin preparations
for a return trip to Earth with a planned landing tonight at
the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The wakeup song was
“Honey, I’m Home” by Shania Twain, played for Kavandi.

Preliminary weather forecasts show generally favorable
conditions at the Shuttle Landing Facility tonight, with only
a possibility of low clouds and rain within 30 miles of the

The crew will begin its final deorbit preparations around 6:30
p.m. Atlantis’ payload bay doors are slated to be closed at
7:49 p.m. and computers on the shuttle will be switched to
landing mode at 8:01 p.m. with the crew scheduled to climb
into their seats at 9:29 p.m. for the first of tonight’s two
landing opportunities.

The first opportunity to return to Florida begins with a
deorbit burn at 10:29 p.m. resulting in an 11:37 p.m. CDT
landing Monday (12:37 a.m. eastern time Tuesday.) If weather
precludes a landing on the first opportunity, there is a
second landing opportunity beginning with an engine firing at
12:08 a.m. and a landing at 1:14 a.m. Tuesday. For the second
landing opportunity, Houston area residents would have an
opportunity to watch Atlantis streak through the sky on its
return to Florida. Atlantis would pass over the Houston area
moving from southwest to east beginning at 12:57 a.m. Atlantis
and its plasma trail should be visible in the skies for
approximately two minutes as it flies at speeds between Mach
10-12 at an altitude of 130,000 feet, with less than 20
minutes to touchdown in Florida.

Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition Two
crew enjoyed a quiet day on orbit with no scheduled work,
though they did spend some time working on items from their
Task List. Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Susan
Helms and Jim Voss went to bed at 1 p.m. and are scheduled to
awaken at 9:30 p.m.

Both spacecraft continue to orbit the Earth in excellent
condition at an average altitude of 240 statute miles.

The next mission status report will be issued after landing or
as events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.