DISCOVERY CREW WAKE UP (begins FD 15) (ORBIT #212 :: 01:32AM CDT) DEORBIT PREPARATIONS BEGIN (ORBIT #214 :: 05:12AM CDT) PAYLOAD BAY DOOR CLOSING (ORBIT #215 :: 06:30AM CDT) DEORBIT BURN (ORBIT #217 :: 09:10AM CDT, 14:10 UTC) MILA C-BAND RADAR ACQUISITION OF DISCOVERY (ORBIT #218 :: 10:02AM CDT, 15:02 UTC) KSC LANDING (ORBIT #218 :: 10:15AM CDT, 15:15 UTC)
STS-124 MCC Status Report #28 :: 2 a.m. CDT :: HOUSTON – Discovery’s crew are now just hours away from landing at the Kennedy Space Center. The crew was awakened at 1:32 a.m. CDT to “Life on an Ocean Wave,” performed by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Band. The song was played for Commander Mark Kelly and the entire crew. Discovery has two opportunities to land this morning at KSC, at 10:15 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. Imagery experts declared the shuttle’s heat shield healthy and safe for entry and landing during yesterday’s Mission Management Team meeting. The first landing opportunity is on orbit 217. The crew will close the payload bay doors at 6:30 a.m. At 8:50 a.m. Mission Control will give the final go/no go for the deorbit burn, scheduled for 9:10 a.m. The ground track for the first attempt brings the shuttle over the western coast of Mexico, near the border with Guatemala. The shuttle will cross toward Cozumel and Cancun before heading out over the Gulf of Mexico. Discovery will then cross the Florida coast near Naples, heading toward Lakeland and then on toward runway 15 at KSC. The second opportunity, on the subsequent orbit would take Discovery across central Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and then on an easterly course across Florida to KSC. With a large high pressure system in place off the North Carolina coast, forecasters are calling for only scattered clouds and light winds in Florida for landing attempts Saturday and, if needed, Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center. The next status report will be issued after the shuttle lands, or earlier if events warrant.
STS-124 Mission Stats: Landed: Sat., June 14, 2008, 11:15 a.m. EDT ~ Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla. || Mission Elapsed Time: 13 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes, 7 secs || Official Landing Times: Main gear touchdown: 11:15:19 a.m. EDT ~ Nose gear touchdown: 11:15:30 a.m. EDT ~ Wheels stop: 11:16:19 a.m. EDT ~ Total miles: 5.7 million || Installed Kibo (check), Dropped off Greg (check), Brought Garrett home (check)...
STS-124 MCC Status Report #29 :: 10:30 a.m. CDT :: HOUSTON – With only puffy white clouds dotting the skyline, space shuttle Discovery glided to a pinpoint touchdown at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 10:15 a.m. ending the two-week-long STS-124 mission to the International Space Station. With Commander Mark Kelly at the stick, Discovery touched down on Runway 15 at the Shuttle Landing Facility, completing a 5.7-million-mile journey that included delivery of the major element of Japan’s science laboratory “Kibo.” Astronaut Garrett Reisman returned home after 95 days in space – 90 of which were aboard the station. Weather was not a concern today as the Spaceflight Meteorology Group evaluated conditions around the landing site with real-time observations by Chief Astronaut Steve Lindsey flying a Gulfstream business jet that mimics the shuttle’s landing characteristics. Discovery’s 35th mission began at 4:02 p.m. on May 31 with liftoff from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A just three miles east of the landing strip. The shuttle will head back to its hangar where it will be readied for the STS-119 mission in early 2009 to deliver the final pair of solar arrays to the space station. The 26th shuttle mission dedicated to assembly and maintenance of the station included delivery of the 32,558-pound Kibo and three spacewalks, totaling 20 hours, 32 minutes bringing the total for 112 spacewalks devoted to assembly to more than 706 hours. Left behind on the station is the Expedition 17 crew, Commander Sergei Volkov, Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko and Reisman’s replacement, Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff, who will spend the next five months on the station until his return home aboard Endeavour on the next station mission scheduled for November (STS-126). The well-choreographed mission of Discovery was carried out by Kelly and his crew, Pilot Ken Ham and Mission Specialists Mike Fossum, Ron Garan, Karen Nyberg and Japan’s Aki Hoshide who led the activities of bringing his country’s laboratory to life after installation at its permanent base 220 miles above the Earth. Discovery’s main landing gear touched down at 10:15:19 a.m., followed by the nose gear at 10:15:30. Wheels stopped at 10:16:19 a.m., bringing the mission’s elapsed time to 13 days, 18 hours, 13 minutes, 7 seconds. The crew is scheduled to return to Houston’s Ellington Field on Sunday with a welcome home ceremony planned for about 4 p.m. at Hangar 990 at the north end of the field.