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  STS-118: Endeavour comes home

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Author Topic:   STS-118: Endeavour comes home
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-20-2007 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Endeavour's crew, led by commander Scott Kelly, is scheduled to complete a 13-day mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, August 21.

NASA managers will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Endeavour to return to Earth. Tuesday's landing opportunities are at 11:32 a.m. and 1:06 p.m. CDT (see chart below). The backup landing site at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., is available but likely will not be considered for Tuesday. The other backup site at White Sands Space Harbor, NM, will not be activated on Tuesday.

If weather prevents a Kennedy landing Tuesday, NASA will activate backup landing sites for attempts on Wednesday.

After touchdown, the astronauts will undergo physical examinations and meet with their families. Some crew members are expected to hold a news conference six hours after returning to Earth.

NASA managers moved Endeavour's return up a day in case Hurricane Dean threatened mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. However, the storm is not expected to affect landing.

The STS-118 mission began August 8 and installed a new gyroscope, an external spare parts platform and another truss segment to the expanding station.

Deorbit Opportunities for STS-118 (all times are CDT)
Updated: August 19

DateOrbitSiteTIGLanding
Tue, Aug. 21201KSC10:25:12 a.m.11:32:23 a.m.
202KSC12:00:12 p.m.1:06:44 p.m.
203EDW1:30:42 p.m.2:37:03 p.m.
NOR1:31:57 p.m.2:38:12 p.m.
204EDW3:06:12 p.m.4:11:43 p.m.
NOR3:09:12 p.m.4:13:52 p.m.
205EDW4:43:42 p.m.5:48:34 p.m.
TIG = Time of Ignition for Deorbit Burn
KSC = Kennedy Space Center
EDW = Edwards Air Force Base
NOR - Northrup Flight Strip (White Sands)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The STS-118 crew is making final preparations for its return to Earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour to complete a successful assembly mission to the International Space Station. Landing is scheduled for 11:32 a.m. CDT at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Endeavour's payload bay doors are now closed. If flight controllers decide to press ahead with landing, commander Scott Kelly and pilot Charles "Scorch" Hobaugh will fire Endeavourís engines at 10:25 a.m. to begin the descent to Kennedy.

If flight controllers choose to pass on the first opportunity a second one is available at the Florida spaceport. It calls for touchdown at 1:06 p.m., with the deorbit burn at 12 p.m. White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico will not be called up today as a possible site. Edwards AFB, Calif., will be staffed, but is not expected to be used.

Weather forecasts at Kennedy generally are favorable.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 09:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The current view at Kennedy Space Center:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crew has been given the "go" for a deorbit burn at 10:25 a.m. CDT.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 10:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Deorbit burn complete! Endeavour and the STS-118 crew are now on a path to landing on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida at 11:32 a.m. CDT.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Entry interface! Endeavour is now encountering the upper traces of the atmosphere, flying over the South Pacific at an altitude of 393,000 feet at a speed of 16,900 mph.

edmk5000
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posted 08-21-2007 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for edmk5000   Click Here to Email edmk5000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This just occurred to me:

How does the shuttle have (albeit "ratty") data/voice communications during re-entry when previous vehicles like Apollo and Gemini capsules were in complete "comm blackout?"

Does it have to do speed or angle of re-entry and/or the TDRS system?

Or am I wrong and there is a complete comm blackout during re-entry?

Ed

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by edmk5000:
How does the shuttle have (albeit "ratty") data/voice communications during re-entry when previous vehicles like Apollo and Gemini capsules were in complete "comm blackout?"
See Mobile Radio Technology's article: Shuttle blackout myth persists
quote:
When the shuttle enters the atmosphere, the brunt of the heat is on the underside of the orbiter. The thermo protection tiles are facedown, so the plasma or ionization layer is open at the trailing end behind the shuttle, providing a hole through which communications with the shuttle can be maintained with the TDRS. Even if the TDRS satellites had been in use when Mercury, Gemini and Apollo were in flight, the spacecrafts still may have experienced blackouts because of their body shapes.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Double sonic booms!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

"Houston, Endeavour, wheels stop," radioed STS-118 commander Scott Kelly.

"Roger, wheels stop Endeavour, congratulations, welcome home. You've given a new meaning to higher education!" replied capcom Chris Ferguson.

Space shuttle Endeavour touched down at 11:32 a.m. CDT on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. Completing its 20th flight, Endeavour and the crew of STS-118 logged a mission duration of 12 days, 17 hours and 55 minutes, traveling 5,274,977 miles over the course of 201 orbits of the Earth.

STS-118 marked the 22nd shuttle flight to the International Space Station and 119th mission in shuttle program history. Today's landing was the 65th shuttle touchdown at Kennedy Space Center and the 50th daytime landing in Florida.

"Endeavour returning the first educator mission specialist Barbara Morgan to Earth to begin her next step in her journey to inspire future generations to explore, learn and build a better future," commented NASA spokesperson Kylie Clem.

Cliff Lentz
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posted 08-21-2007 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wheels stop. Wasn't worried a bit!!

hlbjr
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posted 08-21-2007 11:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yet another day of making the incredible seem routine. Way to go to all of the NASA family!

Harvey Brown

Gilbert
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posted 08-21-2007 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the updates, Robert.

LadyCosmos
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posted 08-21-2007 11:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LadyCosmos   Click Here to Email LadyCosmos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome home

Not in Florida but with my computer. I captured screens of landing.

LadyCosmos

garymilgrom
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posted 08-21-2007 12:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How many runways make up the SLF at Kennedy?

LoneStarScouter
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posted 08-21-2007 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LoneStarScouter   Click Here to Email LoneStarScouter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome home Endeavour crew...Great landing!!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
How many runways make up the SLF at Kennedy?
The Shuttle Landing Facility is one runway, with two approaches: Runway 15 for landing approaches from the northwest and Runway 33 for the southeast.

NavySpaceFan
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posted 08-21-2007 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great looking landing!!!! Looks like CDR Kelly caught the 3 wire !!! Welcome home!

RISPACE
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posted 08-21-2007 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RISPACE     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice Landing! Welcome home all. Class is over, for now.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 01:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Six of the seven STS-118 crew members conducted the customary post-flight walk around of the vehicle, paused to take a photograph together and then boarded the AstroVan to return to their quarters where they will be reunited with their families.

Teacher-turned-astronaut Barbara Morgan remained in the crew transport vehicle, "getting a medical checkout by the flight surgeon" prior to returning to her quarters.

chappy
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posted 08-21-2007 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chappy   Click Here to Email chappy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome home STS-118 crew on a successful mission and my warmest congratulastions goes to STS-118 for completing everything they set out to do..... now roll on to the next mission which will be commanded by PAMELA MELROY,who will be the 2nd woman to command the mission......WELL DONE STS-118.

garymilgrom
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posted 08-21-2007 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert are there concerns about Ms. Morgan's health?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
Robert are there concerns about Ms. Morgan's health?
To quote NASA Administrator Mike Griffin:
quote:
This was Barbara's flight flight. She was feeling just a little bit under the weather. The flight crew office said she was doing just fine but she wasn't able to stand up and walk around out in the Florida heat quite right yet.

Having stood up and walked around in the Florida heat, I was about ready to join her.


Cliff Lentz
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posted 08-21-2007 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Having just walked around in the Florida Sun recently myself I say thank God for those Hawaiian shirts! I guess Wally was right after all!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some really great photos by Ben!

See more of Ben's STS-118 landing photos at LaunchPhotography.com.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-21-2007 05:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by garymilgrom:
Robert are there concerns about Ms. Morgan's health?
Further to this question, words from Mrs. Morgan herself:
quote:
The room still spins a little bit, but that's okay.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't that bad. Just something, it will go away. It's actually pretty interesting -- if you could be in my body. (laughs)


tegwilym
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posted 08-21-2007 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice shots as usual Ben. Isn't this one of the very few times you have been to a landing also? Or at least one this close?

Tom

Ben
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posted 08-21-2007 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks. I've been to all the post-Columbia landings, but it's gone to EAFB twice and one of the other four was at night.

I went to the midfield tower (the main site) today, and it wasn't the first.

mjanovec
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posted 08-21-2007 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That first photo of Ben's looks like an impressionist painting of the Shuttle in flight. Kind of neat...

kyra
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posted 08-21-2007 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is probably about time to bring out the period dots, but I just have to say it. It brings tears to my eyes.

Welcome home STS-118 crew and Endeavour. Thanks for a well done mission.

bobzz
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posted 08-22-2007 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobzz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The night before the shuttle's landing we were at FL320 westbound out of ORD to PDX. The First Officer and I had a front row seat as the ISS followed by Endeavour, passed off our left side, passing between the moon and Jupiter. We were just north of Sioux Falls, SD. Just 10 min. earlier we passed a huge thunderstorm in north central Iowa that put on a light show the likes I have'nt seen in many years. It was a great sight especially since attending Spacefest the Friday and Saturday before.

Bob Z

All times are CT (US)

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