Friday, November 27, 2009

Atlantis nears a Blue Sky Florida Landing Today

The seven member crew of the space shuttle Atlantis are in their final hours of flight as they finish preparations for the ship's return to a Florida landing this morning.

Commander Charles Hobaugh and pilot Barry E. Wilmore will don their orange entry suits first at 7AM EST and begin to maneuver Atlantis to the proper alignment for her deorbit burn.

The burn is planned for 8:37 am and will slow Atlantis down by about 350 mph to begin her drop out of earth orbit.

Landing of the 129th space shuttle flight is set for 9:44 am on runway 33 here at the Kennedy Space Center's shuttle landing facility.

Today marks six of the crew members 12th day in space, however it's a special homecoming for the seventh member of the crew -- Nicole Stott.

Stott has spent three months living and working aboard the International Space Station since arriving on an August shuttle flight. Total today, Stott will have spent 91 days in space. She is due to return to the space station this September aboard the last planned space shuttle flight.

Atlantis will close her payload bay doors around 6:10 am, and the crew will also take in fluids to help condition their bodies for the dynamics of reentry and landing back in a 1G environment.

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