Status Report

STS-98 Status Report #25 19 Feb 2001 1:00 PM CST

By SpaceRef Editor
February 19, 2001
Filed under ,

For the second
day in a row, Atlantis’ astronauts were foiled in their attempt
to land at the Kennedy Space Center by high winds which caused another
24-hour delay in their homecoming until Tuesday. >

As was the case
on Sunday, flight controllers tried to bring Commander Ken Cockrell,
Pilot Mark Polansky and Mission Specialists Bob Curbeam, Marsha Ivins
and Tom Jones home during two landing opportunities which were available
at the Florida spaceport, but winds continued to gust out of limits,
higher than the 15- knot crosswind limit permissible for a Shuttle landing.
Weather at the backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, California
was also unacceptable with high winds and rainshowers in the area of
the Mojave Desert.

Finally, at 12:13
p.m. Central time, Entry Flight Director Leroy Cain called off today’s
landing attempts and directed his team to try to bring Atlantis home
on Tuesday to KSC when the forecast calls for slightly improved weather
and lighter winds. There are two landing opportunities at the Kennedy
Space Center on Tuesday with the first opportunity calling for the firing
of Atlantis’ braking rockets on orbit 200 at 10:20 a.m. Central
time, resulting in a landing at the Cape at 11:27 a.m. Central time.
The second opportunity would begin with the deorbit burn maneuver on
orbit 201 at 11:56 a.m. Central time and a landing at the Kennedy Space
Center at 1:02 p.m. Central time.

Two landing opportunities
also are available on the next two orbits at Edwards. The first of the
Edwards’ opportunities would call for the deorbit burn at 1:27
p.m. Central time and a landing at 2:33 p.m. Central time. The final
opportunity of the day on Tuesday for Edwards would involve a deorbit
burn at 3:04 p.m. Central time and a landing at 4:09 p.m. Central time.
The weather at Edwards is also expected to be better, with a chance
of broken cloud decks and lighter winds than were observed today.

Landing support
will also be called up for the White Sands Space Harbor at Northrup
Strip in New Mexico, which has three landing opportunities available,
although all efforts will be made to try to bring Atlantis home in either
Florida or California. After reopening Atlantis’ cargo bay doors,
the astronauts removed their launch and entry suits and will spend the
rest of the day relaxing. They are scheduled to begin an eight-hour
sleep period at 7:13 p.m. Central time tonight and will be awakened
at 3:13 a.m. Tuesday to resume landing preparations.

Aboard the International
Space Station, Expedition One Commander Bill Shepherd, Pilot Yuri Gidzenko
and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev wrapped up an extended weekend in
which they relaxed in preparation for a busy week of work which begins
Tuesday with the continuing activation of systems in the newly installed
Destiny laboratory. The crew will also prepare for the undocking and
redocking of its Soyuz vehicle Saturday from the aft end of the Zvezda
module to the nadir port of the Zarya module, in anticipation of the
arrival of an unmanned Progress resupply ship at the Station at the
end of the month.

Atlantis is orbiting
the Earth in excellent shape at an altitude of 237 statute miles.

The Johnson Space
Center newsroom will close at 5 p.m. Central time today and will reopen
at 4 a.m. Tuesday. The next mission status report will be issued Tuesday
morning after crew wakeup, unless developments warrant.

SpaceRef staff editor.