Status Report

STS-105 Status Report #24 – 22 Aug 2001 – 5:30 AM CDT

By SpaceRef Editor
August 22, 2001
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With crewmembers aboard Discovery ready for their return to
Earth, the new Expedition Three crew aboard the International
Space Station prepared for the arrival of a Progress resupply
vehicle early tomorrow morning.

Discovery is about 1,300 statute miles ahead of the space
station and widening the gap by about 50 miles per 90-minute
orbit. The seven-member crew – Commander Scott Horowitz, Pilot
Rick Sturckow, Mission Specialists Dan Barry and Pat
Forrester, along with the returning Expedition Two crew
members, Commander Yury Usachev and Flight Engineers Susan
Helms and Jim Voss – were awakened at 3:10 a.m. CDT to begin a
day with two landing opportunities at Florida’s Kennedy Space
Center. Weather conditions in Florida hold promise for today’s
landing, but the entry team of flight controllers will be
watching for a chance of rain near the landing site.

The first opportunity would see a deorbit burn at 10:37 a.m.,
resulting in an 11:46 a.m. CDT (12:46 p.m. EDT) landing.
Discovery would descend across southern Mexico, cross the Bay
of Campeche, skirt the northwestern tip of the Yucatan
Peninsula, and cross the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall
on Florida’s western coast. For the second opportunity, the
deorbit burn would occur at 12:17 p.m. The shuttle would cross
northern Mexico, descend over the Rio Grande near Laredo, and
fly along the Gulf Coast before crossing the Florida peninsula
for a 1:23 p.m. landing.

Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition Three
crew – Commander Frank Culbertson and Cosmonauts Vladimir
Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin – were awakened a little after
midnight for the undocking of the Progress 4 vehicle. That
spacecraft was moved to make way for the Progress 5 cargo
vehicle which launched at 4:24 a.m. Tuesday from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and is scheduled to dock at the rear
of the space station’s Zvezda Service Module about 5 a.m.

Progress 4 docked to the space station last May 22 with a
cargo of equipment, food, fuel and spare computer parts. After
unloading, it was refilled with trash. Just before 1 a.m.
flight controllers at Moscow’s Mission Control Center sent the
command for it to undock. About three minutes later, springs
pushed it away from the station, and three minutes after that,
Progress jet thrusters were fired to increase the separation
rate. At about 4 a.m. a deorbit burn command initiated its
descent to fiery destruction in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Discovery is circling the Earth every 90 minutes at an average
altitude of about 240 statute miles. Systems aboard the
shuttle and the space station are functioning well.

The next mission status report will be issued following
Discovery’s landing, or as events warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.