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Blue Sky ahead: Discovery's last full day in spaceposted March 8, 2011 3:49 a.m. CST

The STS-133 crew received another special wakeup call on Tuesday, as they began what is expected to be space shuttle Discovery's last full day in space.

Fly home on your silver wings, with your new song for the world to sing, light this candle, make it right... Believe and you will find blue sky.

The wakeup call at 2:23 a.m. CST was "Blue Sky" by Big Head Todd and the Monsters. The song was performed live by Todd Park Mohr, vocalist and lead guitarist of the band, accompanied by fellow band mates Brian Nevin, Rob Squires and Jeremy Lawton.

The song received the most votes in NASA's Space Rock wakeup song contest receiving 722,662 votes (29 percent of the 2,463,774 total). "Blue Sky" was written as a tribute to the space program and its workforce and is routinely played in concert by the four-member band.

Discovery's crew will spend today preparing their shuttle for Wednesday's landing, which is targeted for 10:57 a.m. CST at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Commander Steve Lindsey, pilot Eric Boe, and mission specialist Nicole Stott will be performing a checkout of Discovery's flight control systems and firing its reaction control system jets. All members of the crew will work together to stow hardware and equipment.
Discovery's heat shield cleared for reentryposted March 8, 2011 12:08 p.m. CST

Mission managers have cleared space shuttle Discovery's heat shield for its final return from space.

"Just got an update from the MMT [mission management team] that they reviewed your late inspection information and all the data that came down and you are go for entry," capcom Charles Hobaugh advised the crew.

"They found nothing of significance," he added.

"Great news!" replied STS-133 commander Steve Lindsey from orbit.

Yesterday after undocking from the International Space Station, the crew conducted a "final inspection" of the shuttle's thermal protection system using the orbiter boom sensor system (OBSS) and its suite of cameras. The imagery collected during that survey, was downlinked to the ground for analysis to ensure that no damage has been done to Discovery while it has been in space.

"In the mission management team today we reviewed a few items," MMT chair LeRoy Cain. We reviewed the completion of the thermal protection system inspection and there were no issues there."

The team reported on one items from the flight control system checkout. There was a [power] transient on one of the flight control system avionics boxes... it has recovered. So that will be no issue for us."

"We are very happy to bringing STS-133 to a close in the fashion that we are. We look forward to landing tomorrow," said Cain.

Discovery has two opportunities to land Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first begins with a deorbit burn at 9:52 a.m. CST, setting up a landing at 10:57 a.m.

The second has Discovery firing its twin orbital maneuvering engines at 11:29 a.m., leading to a 12:34 p.m. touchdown.
Discovery's crew pays tribute to their shipposted March 8, 2011 1:48 p.m. CST

The six crewmembers of space shuttle Discovery's final flight spoke from orbit Tuesday about their ship's history and the legacy of the U.S. space shuttle program.


Credit: NASA TV

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