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  STS-122: Columbus sets sail for space station (Page 5)

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Author Topic:   STS-122: Columbus sets sail for space station
Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 04:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Now directly behind the ISS, as Atlantis continues its flyaround of the station.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 04:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And passing directly below the ISS...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 04:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Atlantis has fired the first of of its two separation burns to position itself about 40 miles behind the ISS.

cspg
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posted 02-18-2008 04:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Here's a photograph of Davis taken during this mission.
Ok, thanks a lot. I'm a lousy web surfer. Didn't check the human spaceflight gallery for STS-122.

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 05:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis has performed the second of its separation burns to bring it to 40 miles behind the ISS, such that if late inspections of its thermal protection system require, the orbiter can return to the station.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 05:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Via replay, the scene during undocking as seen from the International Space Station:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 05:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Deorbit Opportunities for STS-122 (all times are EST)
Rev. B, Updated: February 18, 2008
DateOrbitSiteTIGLanding
Wed, Feb. 20202KSC8:01:30 a.m.9:07:39 a.m.
203KSC9:37:15 a.m.10:42:35 a.m.
204EDW11:07 a.m.12:12:31 p.m.
205EDW12:43 p.m.1:47:34 p.m.
Thu, Feb. 21218KSC8:25 a.m.9:28 a.m.
219EDW9:55 a.m.10:58 a.m.
NOR9:57 a.m.10:59 a.m.
KSC10:01 a.m.11:03 a.m.
220EDW11:30 a.m.12:33 p.m.
NOR11:32 a.m.12:35 p.m.
221EDW1:07 p.m.2:08 p.m.
Fri, Feb. 22233KSC7:11 a.m.8:14 a.m.
234NOR8:43 a.m.9:46 a.m.
KSC8:46 a.m.9:49 a.m.
235EDW10:16 a.m.11:19 a.m.
NOR10:18 a.m.11:20 a.m.
236EDW11:52 a.m.12:54 p.m.
NOR11:54 a.m.12:56 p.m.
TIG = Time of Ignition for Deorbit Burn
KSC = Kennedy Space Center
EDW = Edwards Air Force Base
NOR - Northrup Flight Strip (White Sands)

Deorbit Timeline for the First KSC Landing Opportunity February 20
(all times are EST)

4:05 a.m.Deorbit Prep begins
5:21 a.m.Payload Bay Door closing
5:32 a.m.Transition to Reentry Software (Ops 3)
6:36 a.m.Donning ACES flight suits
7:01 a.m.Seat ingress
7:14 a.m.OMS Gimbal Check
7:28 a.m.APU Prestart
7:43 a.m."Go-No Go" decision for deorbit burn
7:50 a.m.Maneuver for deorbit burn attitude
8:01:30 a.m.Deorbit burn
9:07:39 a.m.KSC landing

Additional ground tracks for the first day's KSC and Edwards opportunities are here.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
quote:
NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Set to Land Wednesday

The space shuttle Atlantis crew is expected to complete a 13-day mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The STS-122 mission began Feb. 7 and delivered the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory to the station. Columbus expands the station's research facilities and provides scientists around the world with the ability to conduct a variety of life, physical and materials science experiments. The mission also included three spacewalks, the delivery of a new crew member to the station and the return of another astronaut after his nearly four month stay aboard the complex.

NASA managers will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Atlantis to return to Earth. Wednesday landing opportunities at Kennedy are at 9:07 a.m. and 10:42 a.m. EST. There are additional opportunities at 12:12 p.m. and 1:47 p.m. at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., a backup landing site. The shuttle's other backup site for landing, White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., will not be activated Wednesday.

Two hours after landing, NASA officials will hold a briefing to discuss the mission. The participants will be:

  • NASA Administrator Michael Griffin
  • NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier
  • NASA Space Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach
After touchdown, the astronauts will undergo physical examinations and meet with their families. Some crew members are expected to hold a news conference no earlier 4.5 hours after returning to Earth.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 02:44 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 NavySpaceFan:
Also, was Peggy Whitson wearing a NASCAR shirt earlier today? The Daytona 500 was today, so I thought she might be wearing one.
NASA has posted a few group photos that show the t-shirt in question more clearly. It appears not to be NASCAR related, but rather depicts the famous 'Rosie the Riveter' WWII poster.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 04:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just about 20 minutes before Atlantis' crew was preparing to go to sleep, capcom Stephen Robinson called up to the orbiter indicating that a heater for one of their aft vernier RCS thrusters had failed and warned that an alarm might sound as a result.

That call was soon followed by a second warning, this time that the power to multiple heaters had gone down.

"We are looking at all the heaters in the manifold 5 on the aft are now going down, so you are probably going to get three more messages, an L5D, an R5D and an R5R all within the next hour sequentially," radioed Robinson. "No action for you, its not going to reconfigure your aft tail right now. We may have some more words for you on the other side of the comm gap. We'll be back in about 3.5 minutes."

"Okay, we copy Steve, understand that there is no chance to do a heater swap or inhibiting those cautions?" replied commander Steve Frick.

"Well Steve, there are no other heaters to swap to and when we come back after the comm out, we're probably going to have you try cycling the heater switch. But we want to talk just a little bit more. See you in a bit."

After the brief (routine) comm outage, Robinson asked Frick to cycle the switch that enables the heaters, so that the ground could watch if the system warmed while the crew sleeps.

"Atlantis, Houston, we're back with you. Switch to throw, panel A14," called Robinson.

"Okay, go ahead Steve," responded Frick.

"Okay, this is just to see if it happens to be the switch. Panel A14 on the bottom row, is the Aft RCS Jet #5, take to 'Off' with a mark, and back to 'Auto'", said Robinson.

"Okay, it is currently in the 'Auto' position, coming to 'Off', standby, mark, and coming back to 'Auto', standby, mark," said Frick.

"Okay, we'll take a look at the data here and see if it warms up, in the meantime you should get those other three messages within the next 25 to 30 minutes. We are not able to inhibit those particular ones but as I said it shouldn't reconfigure your ship at all, once they go, that should be enough," said Robinson.

"Okay, we copy all Steve. We'll punch them off as they come up, all aft tail only, and after the couple we'll be good for the night. Thanks," replied Frick.

The crew is scheduled to be woken at 11:45 p.m. CST tonight. Frick was offered the option to delay their wake-up by an extra 30 minutes, but declined citing their busy day tomorrow.

NavySpaceFan
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posted 02-18-2008 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It appears not to be NASCAR related, but rather depicts the famous 'Rosie the Riveter' WWII poster.
Thanks Rob! Very cool and very appropriate.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2008 05:05 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 Robert Pearlman:
After the brief (routine) comm outage, Robinson asked Frick to cycle the switch that enables the heaters, so that the ground could watch if the system warmed while the crew sleeps.
Per NASA public affairs spokesman Pat Ryan, "A propulsion officer has reported 'no joy' in recovering the heaters in that fashion. The heater temperatures are still well above the level where they would pose any threat to that system but they will be watched overnight by members of the planning team as they work through changes to the upcoming day on orbit."

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-18-2008 11:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
It appears not to be NASCAR related, but rather depicts the famous 'Rosie the Riveter' WWII poster.
I have a theory as to where that shirt might have come from. Granted it is just a theory as I imagine these are available for sale in many different places.

But anyway, at the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland, Nebraska, these shirts are available for sale along with a bunch of other Rosie items. They sell them since nearby Bellevue, NE had a very active aircraft factory during WW2 (they made B-26s and B-29s there). Clay Anderson is from Ashland and until last fall, his mom was living there also (he has a brother in Omaha and a sister in Hastings). I have to wonder if somehow Clay or one of his family members might have found a way to get one of these shirts to send up to Peggy.

It is a long shot I know, but it seems about as likely a scenario as any other. I intend to ask Clay about it in a couple weeks when he comes back to Ashland.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-19-2008 12:02 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 Robert Pearlman:
The heater temperatures are still well above the level where they would pose any threat to that system but they will be watched overnight by members of the planning team as they work through changes to the upcoming day on orbit.
Shortly after waking at 11:45 p.m. CST to Monty Pyton's Always Look at the Bright Side of Life played for him by his wife, STS-122 commander Steve Frick received an updated on the aft vernier RCS jets and they failed heaters from capcom Shannon Lucid.

"These are just 'big picture' words," Lucid began. "The investigations that we had overnight indicate that a hybrid driver may have failed resulting in the loss of the heater power to the aft vernier thrusters. So the remainder of the mission will be conducted loss of verns. The propellant margin support all the activities and all planned deorbit opportunities through end of mission plus two. Now, there is a potential to perform some unplanned maneuvers and attitude hold in an effort to maintain the aft vernier jets above their non-operating limits."

"Okay Shannon, thanks a lot for those words," replied Frick. "We kind of figured we would be down verns from now on but it is good to hear we don't have any power or prop concerns. I'm glad we have enough prop to fly those attitudes to keep the jets from being a turnaround concern."

The crew will spend today preparing for a planned landing on Wednesday. Today's execute package gave the weather outlook:

quote:
The front that pushed through Houston last night will push through KSC on Tuesday leaving a high pressure system over KSC and a clear, cool morning for landing.

Jerri
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posted 02-19-2008 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerri   Click Here to Email Jerri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am in Flamingo, Fl right on the Florida Bay. Will I be able to see the shuttle as it comes in for landing. I like the map that is posted showing the track. Where can I find that map.

Thank you

------------------
Jerri

Moonwalker1954
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posted 02-19-2008 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, I notice that you make entries even in the middle of the night. Do you sleep sometimes?

I take the opportunity to thank you for your numerous and well done reports. I always come here first if i want to learn something about the mission! You're a Master.

Pierre-Yves

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-19-2008 09:32 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 Jerri:
I like the map that is posted showing the track. Where can I find that map.
The ground track maps can be found here. If you look at the mid-range track for the first opportunity, you'll see the orbiter will pass to the north of your location, first crossing over land near Naples. But given the time of landing, I believe it will be still too high to see. (The second approach moves farther north.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-19-2008 09:47 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 Moonwalker1954:
Robert, I notice that you make entries even in the middle of the night. Do you sleep sometimes?
As I recently wrote to my personal Twitter feed: Undockings at 3:30 a.m. are a cruel form of torture laced with beautiful vistas.

I'm really glad to hear the updates have been of some interest/enjoyment. Thanks!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-19-2008 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As the KU antenna will be stowed today, the execute package for Wednesday (FD13) has been uplinked to the crew. Here is the Mission Management Team's decision on landing:
quote:
Entry Flight Director/Bryan Lunney briefed the entry plan at today's MMT. The plan for EOM (End Of Mission) will be to land at either KSC or EDW and the forecast looks promising for both.

If the weather does not cooperate then on EOM+1 all three CONUS [continental US] sites will be called up and the intent will be to land in order to preserve EOM+2 as a systems wave-off day.


Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-19-2008 11:56 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 Jay Chladek:
It is a long shot I know, but it seems about as likely a scenario as any other.
Okay, here's the scoop on the t-shirt: it was a gift by Dayna Steele Justiz, founder of Smart Girls Rock, and Rosie is wearing an ACES spacesuit. You can also order your very own Astronaut Rosie t-shirt.

Jerri
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posted 02-19-2008 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerri   Click Here to Email Jerri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The ground track maps can be found here.
Robert, thank you so much for the info. When I saw your map and the different times, how do I tell when it has made it through the atmosphere? Will I be too far south to hear the sonic boom? I want once to see the shuttle take off and/or land. I watch it while it's up there attached to the space station and I have seen both the shuttle and ss go by, but I would love to see the shuttle take off and/or land. Gonna have to drive up there for the next one if we are still in the Everglades.

Thank you for your information.

------------------
Jerri

Jay Chladek
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posted 02-20-2008 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Okay, here's the scoop on the t-shirt: it was a gift by Dayna Steele Justiz, founder of Smart Girls Rock, and Rosie is wearing an ACES spacesuit. You can also order your very own Astronaut Rosie t-shirt.
Hmmm, I might have to give a call to the museum to see if they are willing to sell these in the giftshop. Cute! And it is also nice that I can actually see the image since there is some guy's head in front of the logo on the pictures I have seen of it in orbit. Thanks for the clarification.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 04:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The crew of STS-122 has been given the go to close Atlantis' payload bay doors in preparation for landing.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 04:27 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 reported that all of Atlantis' radiator Freon hoses, including one that had kinked causing pre-flight issues when the payload bay doors were closed for launch, have retracted without any problem.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 04:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis' payload bay doors are now confirmed as closed and latched.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 04:33 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 a 'go' to transition the shuttle's flight software for reentry.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 04:39 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 Jerri:
When I saw your map and the different times, how do I tell when it has made it through the atmosphere? Will I be too far south to hear the sonic boom?
Atlantis will be well within the atmosphere when it flies over Florida. Unfortunately, NASA does not provide timeline data as to predict when and where the shuttle can be seen (or heard).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 05:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Due to a strong tailwind, Atlantis' approach to Kennedy Space Center's 3.5 mile Shuttle Landing Facility has been changed from Runway 33 to the northwest to southeast Runway 15.

Robert Pearlman
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The crew has been given the go to start 'fluid loading' to assist with their transition to gravity. Here are their drink choices:
  • CDR Frick, 40 oz. water
  • PLT Poindexter, 24 oz. water, 24 oz. Lemonade
  • MS1 Melvin, 48 oz. Orange Ade
  • MS2 Walheim, 16 oz. Cherry Ade, 16 oz. Tropical Punch, 8 oz. Grape Drink
  • MS3 Schlegel, 40 oz. Chicken Consummé
  • MS4 Love, 40 oz. Cherry Drink
  • MS5 Tani, 40 oz. Lemonade

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 06:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chief astronaut Steve Lindsey is flying approaches at the Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida, reporting clear conditions to weather officer Charles Hobaugh at Houston Mission Control.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mission Control has given the 'go' for Atlantis' deorbit burn for a 9:07 a.m. EST landing at Kennedy Space Center.

"Atlantis Houston, you are go for the burn," radioed capcom Jim Dutton.

"Great news man, go for the burn," replied STS-122 commander Steve Frick.

The two minute, 43 second engine firing is set to begin at 7:59 a.m. EST.

Jerri
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posted 02-20-2008 06:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jerri   Click Here to Email Jerri     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Unfortunately, NASA does not provide timeline data as to predict when and where the shuttle can be seen (or heard).
Thank you Robert. I am gonna head outside just in case.

------------------
Jerri

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flying over the Indian Ocean, Atlantis has started its two minute, 43 second deorbit burn. Two good engines, Atlantis is now heading home to the Kennedy Space Center.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"We're on our way home," radioed Steve Frick as the deorbit burn was completed. The next major milestone is "entry interface" in about 35 minutes as Atlantis reaches the upper reaches of the atmosphere at an altitude of 400,000 feet.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The convoy of orbiter safing vehicles are making their way to the Shuttle Landing Facility in preparation for Atlantis' arrival.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All three auxiliary power units (APUs) are now up and running.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flying above the South Pacific, Atlantis has reached "entry interface," entering the atmosphere and providing the STS-122 crew their first sensation of gravity since launching 13 days ago (or in the case of Expedition 16 flight engineer Dan Tani, 120 days). At approximately 400,000 feet altitude and traveling at about 16,000 mph, the orbiter is now under 4,400 nautical miles from the Cape.

Atlantis' flight path to the Kennedy Space Center will take the shuttle over parts of Central America and the Caribbean Sea before crossing over the west coast of Florida and gliding over the central region of the "sunshine" state.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis now in its first of four banking maneuvers, trimming its velocity for landing.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis now in its first roll reversal, orienting itself from left to right. A 64 degree roll that continues to dissipate energy. Less than 15 minutes to landing.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-20-2008 07:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ten minutes from landing, Atlantis is now receiving data from beacons located at the landing site.


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