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  STS-129/Atlantis: Stocking the Space Station [Flight Day Journal] (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   STS-129/Atlantis: Stocking the Space Station [Flight Day Journal]
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-26-2009 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Flight Day Twelve (con't)

The crew of STS-129 awoke on what is planned to be their last day in space at 12:28 a.m. CST to "Home Sweet Home" by Motley Crue.
"Good morning Atlantis! That song was for the whole crew," radioed Aki Hoshide from Mission Control.

"The whole crew says, 'Thank you very much!'" replied Nicole Stott, who is returning after 91 days in space, 87 of them spent aboard the International Space Station.

Stott and her six crewmates onboard Atlantis have two opportunities to return home today, both resulting in a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Credit: NASA TV

If given the "go" to proceed by Mission Control, STS-129 commander Charlie Hobaugh will fire the shuttle's orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines at 7:37 a.m. CST, setting up an 8:44 a.m. touchdown on Runway 33 at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility.

Should the weather interfere or if a technical issue requires a delay, a second attempt could be made one orbit later with a deorbit burn at 9:12 a.m. resulting in a landing at 10:19 a.m. CST.

If both landing opportunities are waved off, then Atlantis will remain in space for another day.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 04:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Closing the payload bay doors

With the weather in Florida looking "perfect" for a landing, Mission Control gave the crew of Atlantis the "go" to begin configuring their spacecraft for a return to Earth this morning.
"I know it's kind of early to tell, but weather is still looking pretty good?" asked Charlie "Scorch" Hobaugh, STS-129 commander.

"We're looking at really good conditions down here," replied capcom Chris Ferguson. "The sky is essentially clear and the winds are coming in to what we anticipate the forecast to be."

A few moments later, Ferguson added, "You are go for payload bay door closing."

"Okay, thanks," replied Hobaugh.

With that, Atlantis' astronauts began the procedures to close the two 60 foot long doors that protect the orbiter's payload bay.

Barring any unforeseen issues and once the given the final go to proceed by flight controllers, Hobaugh will fire Atlantis' twin orbital maneuvering engines at 7:37 a.m. CST, setting up a touchdown at 8:44 a.m. on Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 05:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Preparations underway for returning to Earth

With Atlantis' payload bay doors closed, the STS-129 astronauts are continuing to prepare their spacecraft for an 8:44 a.m. CST landing.

Commander Charlie Hobaugh and pilot Butch Wilmore have started transitioning the orbiter's flight software from its on-orbit configuration to OPS-3 for reentry and landing.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Suited and sipping

Donning the same orange pressure suits that they wore for launch now in preparation for reentry, the STS-129 crew has been given a "go" by Mission Control to begin fluid loading.
"Houston, just for getting everything ready to come home, the suit-up is going very well and the stowage is all closed out. We're in pretty good shape for making the first attempt," reported Atlantis' commander Charlie "Scorch" Hobaugh.
"Fluid loading" aids the astronauts' readjustment to gravity. The crew was given a choice of drinks, as indicated by the table below.


Credit: NASA

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 07:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

"Go" for going home

Atlantis will be landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Flight controllers gave STS-129 mission commander Charlie "Scorch" Hobaugh the word that he was "go" to perform the deorbit burn that will begin the shuttle's journey back into the Earth's atmosphere.

Hobaugh will fire Atlantis' orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines at 7:37:10 a.m. to set up a landing on the Shuttle Landing Facility's Runway 33 at 8:44 a.m. CST.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 07:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Deorbit burn

STS-129 commander Charlie "Scorch" Hobaugh fired Atlantis' twin orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engines at 7:37:10 a.m. CST for two minutes and 47 seconds, slowing the orbiter's velocity by 310 feet per second (or about 211 miles per hour) beginning his and his six crewmates' return to Earth.
"Good deorbit burn, no trim required," reported Mission Control.

"Copy that," said Hobaugh.

Atlantis is on its way home after an 11-day mission to deliver nearly 15 tons of spare components to the International Space Station.

Landing on Runway 33 at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility is set for 8:44 a.m. CST.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Entry interface

Atlantis, flying over the Pacific Ocean with its nose tipped up and its wings level, encountered the first traces of Earth's atmosphere, known as "entry interface", at 8:12 a.m. CST at an altitude of 399,000 feet while still 4,985 nautical miles from landing on Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

S-turns

Atlantis is now flying a series of four steep banks, rolling as much as 80 degrees to one side or the other, to slow its approach.

This series of roll commands gives the shuttle's ground track toward the landing site the appearance of an elongated letter "S".

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Boom! Boom!

Twin sonic booms have been heard over Florida, as Atlantis passed through the speed of sound.

Commander Charlie Hobaugh has taken over control of Discovery to guide it through a 300-degree right overhead turn to align the orbiter for an 8:44 p.m. CST touchdown on Runway 33 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Touchdown! Atlantis lands in Florida

Space shuttle Atlantis returned safely to Florida on Friday morning, gliding in under clear skies to a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, where 11 days earlier it had launched for the International Space Station (ISS).

Commander Charles "Scorch" Hobaugh brought Atlantis and his six crewmates to a touchdown at 8:44 a.m. CST on the Shuttle Landing Facility's Runway 33.

"Houston, Atlantis, wheels stop," announced Hobaugh as the orbiter rolled to a halt.

"That was a picture-perfect end," replied capcom Chris Ferguson from Mission Control in Houston. "Everybody welcome back to Earth."


Credit: NASA TV

Their arrival concluded the STS-129 mission, which delivered spare parts to the station in order to extend its on-orbit lifespan. Highlighted by three spacewalks, the birth of a crew member's daughter back on Earth and the celebration of Thanksgiving in space, the flight also returned the last station resident to arrive and depart the ISS by a U.S. space shuttle.

Returning to Florida with Hobaugh were Atlantis' STS-129 mission pilot Barry "Butch" Wilmore and mission specialists Mike Foreman, Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik and Bobby Satcher. Rounding out the shuttle's crew for the return to Earth was ISS flight engineer Nicole Stott, who spent 80 days aboard the station -- 87 as a member the Expedition 20/21 crew -- for a total of 91 days in space.

The STS-129 mission was the 31st space shuttle to visit the orbiting outpost and coincidentally, the 31st flight for Atlantis as well. It was dedicated to delivering two large pallets of spare components to stock the station before the shuttle's planned retirement in 2010.

Among the station components pre-installed on the two EXPRESS (or external) logistics carriers (ELC) launched on Nov. 16 inside Atlantis' payload bay were two ISS-stablizing gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly, a spare latching end effector for the station's main robotic arm, a spare trailing umbilical system for the mobile transporter that the arm rides, and a high-pressure oxygen tank to help replenish the air lost when astronauts enter and exit the station's Quest airlock, such as during STS-129's three spacewalks.

STS-129 completed 171 orbits while logging 4,490,138 million miles over the course of 10 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes and 13 seconds.

This was the 72nd space shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center.

The fifth of five space shuttle missions planned for this year, STS-129 marked the penultimate flght for Atlantis (OV-104), which is scheduled to launch on its final mission, STS-132, in May 2010.


Credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Commander's comments

After exiting Atlantis and taking part in the traditional walk-around of their spacecraft, the STS-129 astronauts, led by commander Charlie "Scorch" Hobaugh, delivered a few remarks about their mission.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-27-2009 07:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Flight Day: Twelve

Videos: Post-flight press conference and comments


Credit: NASA TV

Do you have comments and/or questions about the STS-129 mission? Post to our mission viewing and commentary thread.


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