Thursday, May 21, 2009

Weather Looks Iffy for Friday KSC Landing

Scattered storms here at the Kennedy Space Center in association with a low pressure system off shore will likely delay Friday morning's first landing attempt by Atlantis into Saturday.

On Wednesday, Mission Control south of Houston, Texas, radioed Atlantis to turn off a few extra electronic devices to conserve a little more power in case landing is delayed past the planned time.

There are two landing opportunities for the prime landing site at Kennedy's runway 15 on Friday morning. will have LIVE television of Friday's planned landing through out the day.

The first would see Atlantis perform her deorbit burn on orbit 165 to begin a free fall back to earth for the first landing attempt at 10:00:31 am EDT. The second landing time is one orbit later at 11:39 am. If this weather system remains off shore, and forecasters here at Cape weather are calling for light showers Friday morning, then both landing attempts could be waved off in support of a Saturday landing.

Click Here for the current LIVE radar of the Cape Canaveral, FL area.

The seven member flight crew awoke this morning at 3:04 am EDT, to the music of Cantina Band from the Star Wars.

Later, the crew began preparing for landing by powering up on auxilary power unit and testing Atlantis' flight control systems which include her elevons, rudder and speed brake beginning at 5:12 am. Next, the crew this morning test fired Atlantis’ reaction control system thrusters - the same thrusters they will use to take them out of orbit.

On tap for today, commander Scott Altman and pilot Greg Johnson will practice a few landing simulations via a laptop computer using the software PILOT at 8 am.

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