STS-113 Mission Journal  

STS-113 Mission Journal - Part 6

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Endeavour, her cargo bay now empty, pulls away from the ISS. Image: NASA TV/NewsFromSpace.com
SHUTTLE UPDATE:
Endeavour has landed!
Latest news here.
NASA image of STS-113 crew patch, representing the addition of the P1 Truss to Space Station Alpha's structure, as well as the ISS crew exchange.
LEFT: Endeavour, her cargo bay now empty, pulls away from the ISS.
RIGHT: STS-113 mission patch.

  • 05 December - WAVE-OFF - Make that two extra days in spaceThursday's landing opportunities, like yesterday's, have also been waved off due to bad weather at the primary landing site (not to mention the whole East Coast). They are trying to avoid landing at the backup site in California, thanks to the cool million it costs to ferry the orbiter back to KSCNASA reports:

    Cloud Cover, Rain Force Wave Off; STS-113 to Try Landing Friday
    'Kick out the jams!' Sergei Treschev, shown here entertaining the Soyuz Taxi 5 crew which visited in October, is coming home aboard Endeavour. NASA photo.For the second day in a row, unacceptable weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., forced NASA to wave off STS-113's two landing attempts for today. The decision was due to low cloud ceilings and rain in the vicinity of the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC.
    Space Shuttle Endeavour has two opportunities available in Florida on Friday. The first is at [1:57PM EST/1857 GMT], with the deorbit burn occurring at [12:51PM EST/1751 GMT]. The second opportunity begins with a deorbit burn at [2:27PM EST/1931 GMT] ... culminating with a [3:33PM EST/2033 GMT] landing. Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., will not be activated for Friday.
    Friday's forecast calls for the chance of unacceptable cloud cover and rain. Flight controllers and forecasters will continue to monitor the situation.

    Flight Day 11 videos are now available in the NASA Gallery.


  • 05 December 2002 - Flight Day 13 - We don't expect the Shuttle to land this afternoon, since the conditions that caused yesterday's wave-offs are no better today. NASA reports:

    STS-113 Looks to Thursday Landing
    The International Space Station, with sunlight glinting off its solar arrays, as seen from Endeavour's post-undocking flyaround. NASA photo.Flight controllers are carefully watching weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center today in the hopes of bringing Endeavour and its crew of seven home this afternoon.
    Current forecasts are not promising, with the possibility of clouds, rain and thundershowers predicted at landing time. A final decision on whether today's landing opportunities will be pursued, is expected mid-morning.

    Stay tuned...


  • 04 December 2002 - Wednesday Evening Update - Both of today's landing opportunities have been waved off. Tomorrow's weather doesn't look good either, but mission managers will make a decision in the morning. NASA reports:

    Too Cloudy for Wednesday Landing; Focus Turns to Thursday
    John Herringtonfloats outside the ISS in this pic from the second EVA, the only one ever to take place on Thanksgiving Day. NASA photo.The crew of Endeavour will spend another 24 hours in space after poor weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center caused a wave-off of today's landing opportunities. NASA managers [had to cancel] STS-113's two landing opportunities for Wednesday. The main culprit was increasing cloud cover.
    Attention now turns to Space Shuttle Endeavour's two opportunities at Kennedy on Thursday. However, the weather forecast for Thursday is not favorable due to a weather system pushing in from the northwest ... with rain showers and clouds expected in the vicinity of the landing strip. STS-113's first opportunity Thursday is at [2:54PM EST/1954 GMT] on orbit 184, and the second is during orbit 185 at [4:30PM EST/2130 GMT]. Forecasters and flight controllers will continue to monitor the weather conditions at KSC.
    'I thought I told you guys not to leave your spacesuits lying around!' No, Peggy is not anybody's mom - she is just doing her part in this pic from her stay at the ISS. NASA photo.Flight controllers will receive a weather briefing about 8:15 a.m. central [9:15AM EST/1415 GMT] Thursday to review forecasts before deciding whether to proceed with landing preparations.
    The STS-113 crew will awaken just before 5 a.m. central time [6:00AM EST/1100 GMT] Thursday. With a landing tomorrow, the Expedition Five crew will have spent 183 days in space.

    Watch the Expedition 6 crew light the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center tonight!


  • 04 December - First Wave-Off - No-go on the first landing opportunity. NASA reports:

    First Landing Attempt Waved; STS-113 to try Second Opportunity
    The ISS as seen from the departing Endeavour shuttle. NASA photo.The threat of cloud cover forced NASA managers to wave off STS-113's first landing attempt for today at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Attention now turns to Space Shuttle Endeavour's second opportunity of the day. If it is selected, the de-orbit burn will occur during orbit 170 at [4:19PM EST/2119 GMT] and landing at [5:26PM EST/2226 GMT].
    Forecasters and flight controllers are continuing to monitor the weather conditions at KSC.
    If the second opportunity is waved off, efforts will turn toward two opportunities that exist for a landing in Florida on Thursday. Endeavour has enough supplies to remain in orbit until Sunday if necessary.

  • 04 December - Afternoon Update - We should hear a go/no go decision by about 2:30PM EST/1930 GMT for the deorbit burn to bring Endeavour home. NASA reports:

    STS-113 to Return Home
    Peggy Whitson is close to breaking the world record for female space endurance - on her first flight! NASA photo.The 16th shuttle mission to the International Space Station will conclude today with a landing in Florida, weather permitting. Two landing opportunities are available to STS-113 at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The first is at [3:48PM EST/2048 GMT], with the deorbit burn occurring at [2:41PM EST/1941 GMT]. The second would begin with a deorbit burn at [4:20PM EST/2120 GMT] and end with a landing at [5:26PM EST/2226 GMT].
    Forecasts call for a 70-percent chance of favorable weather for landing today. The main concerns are cloud cover and rain within the vicinity of KSC. The flight control team and forecasters will continue to monitor the situation.

    Flight Day 10 pics are now available in the NASA Gallery.


  • 04 December 2002 - LANDING DAY? - Flight Day 12 should see Endeavour end its journey - if weather at Florida's Kennedy Space Center cooperates. NASA reports:

    STS-113 to Return to Earth Today
    Endeavour's flame almost looks blue-tinged in this launch pic. NASA photo KSC-02PP-1823.Flight controllers remain cautiously optimistic that weather conditions in Florida will support Endeavour's planned return to the Kennedy Space Center today.
    Endeavour is slated to land at 2:48 p.m. central time [3:48PM EST/2048 GMT] today, weather permitting. The primary concern is with cloud cover in the vicinity of the landing site. Entry Flight Director Wayne Hale will receive updated weather predictions throughout the day.

    Check the play-by-play links at top right for up-to-the-minute commentary, and follow the action live on NASA TV!


  • 03 December 2002 - Evening Update - Hope they packed umbrellas on the Space Shuttle, 'cause it's rainy where they're going! Today, Flight Day 11, should have been the last full day in space for the returning Endeavour crew, but landing conditions look iffy. NASA reports:

    Crewmembers Prepare for Landing
    In this pre-launch view, Endeavour waits on the pad at KSC under the moonlight. NASA photo.In their final scheduled full day in space, the seven crewmembers aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour prepared for landing. They stowed equipment and prepared the orbiter for re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
    Weather forecasts call for a chance of cloud cover and rain in the vicinity of KSC at landing time.

    The STS-113 crew and the Expedition Five crew participate in interviews with reporters on Earth. TOP (L-R): Herrington, Lopez-Alegria, Lockhart, Treschev. BOTTOM (L-R): Wetherbee, Whitson, Korzun. NASA image.Stay tuned to our live landing coverage as Endeavour returns to KSC, concluding mission STS-113! This is also your last chance to test your knowledge with our Mission Quiz!
    Watch NASA TV on Wednesday to see coverage of STS-113's return to Earth. Space Shuttle Endeavour is slated to land at 2:48 p.m. CST [3:48PM EST/2048 GMT], ending Expedition Five's six-month stay in space.

    Flight Day 10 videos are now available in the NASA Gallery.


  • 03 December - Afternoon Update - Will the weather cooperate for Endeavour's landing tomorrow? NASA reports:

    Crewmembers to Prepare for Landing
    Endeavour as seen on Flight Day 9. Which way is up??? NASA image. In their final scheduled full day in space, the seven crewmembers aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour will prepare for landing. They will stow equipment and prepare the orbiter for re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
    Returning home will be STS-113 Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Mike Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington; Expedition Five Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev.
    Nikolai Budarin (pictured here pre-launch) is a veteran of 2 Mir expeditions. NASA photo.Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition Six crew will spend its first full day alone settling in to their new home. Commander Ken Bowersox, Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin and NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit will unpack items that arrived on the station during STS-113.
    Endeavour is slated to return to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Wednesday. The first of two landing opportunities is available at [3:48PM EST/2048 GMT], with the de-orbit burn occurring at [2:42PM EST/1742 GMT]. Endeavour's second opportunity Wednesday is at [5:26PM EST/2226 GMT], with the de-orbit burn at [4:20PM EST/2120 GMT].
    Preliminary forecasts for Wednesday's ... landing show a slight chance of showers or thunderstorms in the vicinity of the Kennedy Space Center. Flight Controllers are cautiously optimistic that weather will support an on-time landing for Endeavour and its returning crew.

  • 03 December 2002 - Flight Day 11 - Today, Tuesday, will be spent checking out Endeavour's landing systems in preparation for the return to Earth this Wednesday (weather permitting). NASA reports:

    Endeavour Undocks, Begins Journey Home
    Endeavour is seen here approaching the ISS last week. NASA photo.The International Space Station [has changed] hands again. Expedition Six crew Ken Bowersox, Nikolai Budarin and Don Pettit [took] residence in their new home away from home as they bid farewell to the Expedition Five and STS-113 crews on Monday. Space Shuttle Endeavour will return to Earth with the Microgravity Science Glovebox which experienced trouble with its power distribution and conversion box.
    The STS-113 crew delivered the P1 (P-One) Truss to the station and performed three spacewalks to activate and outfit the new component. Also, more than 1,134 kilograms (2,500 pounds) of cargo were transferred between the shuttle and station. Endeavour delivered the Expedition Six crew to the station and is returning Expedition Five Commander Valery Korzun, Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev and NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson to Earth.
    Watch NASA TV on Tuesday at 2 p.m. CST [3PM EST/2000 GMT] to see STS-113 and Expedition Five crew participate in interviews with CBS' "Up to the Minute, TV-E of Spain and the Tulsa World newspaper.

    Stay tuned...


  • 02 December 2002 - Evening Update - Endeavour is undocked from Space Station Alpha, and heading homeNASA reports:

    Endeavour Undocks from ISS
    The International Space Station enters an orbital sunset over the northern Atlantic Ocean as Space Shuttle Endeavour performs a one-quarter fly-around shortly after undocking. NASA image.The STS-113 and Expedition Five crews began their journey home Monday when Space Shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station ... leaving behind the Expedition Six crew to begin its on-orbit stay. Undocking occurred at [3:05PM EST/2005 GMT] as the two spacecraft flew over northwestern Australia.
    As [the orbiter] slowly backed away from the station, Expedition Six Commander Ken Bowersox rang the ship's bell aboard the station and announced ENDEAVOUR, DEPARTING. As Bowersox and his crewmates, Nikolai Budarin and Don Pettit, settle into their new home, Endeavour's crew will turn its attention to a return trip to Earth, scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
    Space Shuttle Endeavour undocks from the International Space Station. NASA image.[Also today], the STS-113 crew released two miniature satellites as part of the MEMS-based PICOSAT Inspector, or MEPSI, experiment. The satellites, which are tethered, will fly for three days to demonstrate the launcher assembly and the use of micro technologies in space.
    Endeavour is scheduled to touch down at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at [3:48PM EST/2048 GMT] Wednesday. Early forecasts call for a threat of thunderstorms and rain in the vicinity of the landing facility Wednesday.
    The STS-113 Landing Ground Tracks for Wednesday are available.

    Flight Day 9 videos are now available in the NASA Gallery.


  • 02 December - Afternoon Update - The hatches are closed and the two spacecraft are going to separate this afternoon. NASA reports:

    STS-113 to Undock Today
    'Gimme a hug, ya big lug!' Budarin, Bowersox, and Pettit say goodbye to their crewmates in this view from inside the ISS. Outgoing ISS Commander Valery Korzun is facing away from the camera. Image: NASA TV/NewsFromSpace.comThe STS-113 and Expedition Five crews will begin their journey home today after Space Shuttle Endeavour undocks from the International Space Station. Undocking is slated to occur at 2:05 p.m. CST [3:05PM EST/2005 GMT] today as the two spacecraft fly over Western Australia.
    The last hatch connecting [the orbiter] to the International Space Station was closed and secured at 11:57 a.m. central time [12:57PM EST/1757 GMT] today, concluding almost one week of joint operations between the crews.
    Don Pettit helps the Shuttle crew out the Pressurized Mating Adapter connecting the two spacecraft. Image: NASA TV/NewsFromSpace.comEndeavour spent a total of six days 18 hours 26 minutes docked to the space station, with hatches open, to allow the 10 astronauts and cosmonauts to work together.
    STS-113 delivered the fourth component of the station's 11-piece Integrated Truss Structure. The crew performed three spacewalks to activate and outfit the new component. Also, more than 1,134 kilograms (2,500 pounds) of cargo were transferred between the shuttle and station.

    Flight Day 8 videos are now available in the NASA Gallery.



  • 02 December 2002 - Flight Day 10 - Today will see Endeavour part ways with the International Space StationEveryone is packed up and ready to go - except the new ISS crew, Expedition Six - they'll be staying behind for another 4 months or so. NASA reports:

    STS-113 Prepares to Leave ISS
    Pilot Paul "Paco" Lockhart makes like a limo driver in this light-hearted moment from Endeavour's docking. NASA photo.The crew of Endeavour is scheduled to be awakened at 6:50 a.m. CST [7:50AM EST/1250 GMT] and the Expedition Six crew aboard the International Space Station is scheduled to awaken at 7:20 a.m. [8:20AM EST/1320 GMT].
    Expedition Five Commander Valery Korzun, Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev and NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson will depart the International Space Station for the final time today. Along with the STS-113 crew, they will bid farewell to the Expedition Six crew before the hatches are closed between the station and Space Shuttle Endeavour about 11:15 a.m. CST [12:15PM EST/1715 GMT].
    A new NASA TV schedule is now available - Rev. J

    See last night's entry for today's events. Pilot Paul Lockhart will only fly a quarter-lap around the ISS after undocking today, since more propellant than usual was needed for raising the Station over the course of the mission.

    Check the play-by-play links at top right for up-to-the-minute commentary, and follow the action live on NASA TV!. Here's the latest profile:



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