STS-113 Mission Journal  

STS-113 Mission Journal - Part 7

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Endeavour has her landing gear down as she approaches Runway 33 at KSC. Image: NASA TV/NewsFromSpace.com
SHUTTLE UPDATE:
Endeavour has landed!

NEXT MISSION: STS-107

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 has her landing gear down as she approaches Runway 33 at KSC.
RIGHT: STS-113 mission patch.

  • 07 December 2002 - Evening Update - TOUCHDOWN! - Commander James "Wex" Wetherbee and Pilot Paul "Taco" Lockhart brought Endeavour in for a sweet landing today at KSC's Runway 33. The orbiter touched down after a flight of 13 days, 18 hours, 47 minutes and 38 seconds, concluding the fifth and final Shuttle mission of the year! NASA reports:

    Endeavour Lands Safely
    Endeavour approaches the landing strip... (NASA photo)The STS-113 and Expedition Five crews landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:37 p.m. EST on Saturday, December 7. This is the 60th landing at Kennedy and marks the end of a successful mission to the International Space Station. STS-113, which launched Nov. 23, is returning home after delivering the P1 (P-One) Truss and the Expedition Six crew to the station. The Expedition Five crew returns to Earth after 178 days on station and 185 days in space.
    Endeavour's main gear touches Runway 33... (NASA photo) With Commander Jim Wetherbee and Pilot Paul Lockhart at the controls, Endeavour touched down at [2:37PM EST/1937 GMT]. STS-113 was the 16th shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
    Returning to Earth with Wetherbee, Lockhart and Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington was the Expedition Five crew -- Commander Valery Korzun, Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev and NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson. Pilot Paul Lockhart deploys Endeavour's drag chute to help slow the orbier down. (NASA photo)
    This was the 19th flight of Endeavour and the 112th shuttle mission. Saturday's landing was the first time a mission ended on the fourth day of landing attempts.
    Review our Web landing coverage and enjoy the photos of Endeavour's return to KSC, concluding mission STS-113!

    The post-landing news conference, originally scheduled for 8:30PM EST tonight, has been postponed until 1:30PM EST/1830 GMT tomorrow (Sunday). Also, there was no crew walk-around after the Shuttle landed. Wonder if anyone had trouble readjusting to gravity?

    Landing video here and here. Landing pics here.


  • 07 December - COMING HOME - Flight Day 15 is indeed the last for Endeavour. NASA reports:

    STS-113, Expedition Five Crews Headed to Florida
    Endeavour undocks from the ISS. Image: NASA TV/NewsFromSpace.comThe STS-113 and Expedition Five crews are headed home. STS-113 Commander Jim Wetherbee fired Space Shuttle Endeavour's engines at [1:32PM EST/1832 GMT] to begin the descent to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., where it will land at [2:37PM EST/1937 GMT] today.
    STS-113, which launched Nov. 23, is returning home after a successful mission to the International Space Station. Endeavour delivered the P1 (P-One) Truss to the station. While docked, Endeavour's crew performed three spacewalks to activate and outfit the P1 and transferred cargo between the two spacecraft.
    STS-113 also rotated space station crews. It delivered the Expedition Six crew to the station and is returning Expedition Five to Earth. The Expedition Five crew -- Commander Valery Korzun, Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev and NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson -- is wrapping a six-month stay at the orbital outpost.

    Look for landing pics soon!


  • 07 December - Afternoon Update - GO FOR DEORBIT BURN - Endeavour is coming home to KSC! NASA reports:

    Four Landing Opportunities Available to STS-113 Today
    The five astronauts and two cosmonauts aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour and flight controllers are preparing for landing today. Four opportunities are available to STS-113 today -- two are at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., and two are at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The first opportunity of the day is at [2:37PM EST/1937 GMT] at Kennedy, with the deorbit burn occurring at [1:32PM EST/1832 GMT].
    The weather forecast in Florida is more favorable than the previous three days in which Endeavour's landing attempts were waved off. The main concerns at Kennedy are cloud cover and high winds. The forecast for Edwards calls for acceptable conditions.

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


  • 07 December 2002 - Landing Day! - One way or another, Endeavour is coming home today. The Shuttle has been delayed an unprecedented three times due to bad weather at KSC, but things are looking better in Florida - and the West Coast site has also been activated, in case they need to land at Edwards AFB. Endeavour has enough propellant and supplies to stay in orbit until tomorrow - but we don't expect mission managers to stretch things that far. NASA reports:

    Four Landing Attempts Available Today
    "You SURE we're coming home today?" Commander James "Wex" Wetherbee will be guiding Endeavour in for a landing this afternoon. NASA photo.NASA Managers waved off [Friday's] landing attempt due to poor weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center. Endeavour has four landing opportunities on Saturday, December 7.
    With Florida preferred, Endeavour could also land in California today as the crew begins a fourth day of landing preparations. Two opportunities exist for a landing on either coast of the United States today. The forecast for a Kennedy Space Center, Fla., landing today is the most favorable seen so far during Endeavour's attempts, but still includes a slight chance of problematic low clouds and fairly strong winds. The forecast for Edwards Air Force Base is pristine if needed for landing today. Endeavour's payload bay doors will be closed as landing preparations continue just before [11AM EST/1600 GMT] today. A go or no-go decision on the first opportunity for a KSC landing is anticipated around [12:30PM EST/1730 GMT].
    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 Saturday to see coverage of STS-113's return to Earth. Space Shuttle Endeavour's next landing opportunity is at 1:37 p.m. CST [2:37PM EST/1937 GMT]. NASA TV Schedule

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


  • 06 December 2002 - Evening Update - Another wave-off. STS-113 now has the "dubious distinction" of being the first Shuttle flight to postpone landing 3 times straight. NASA reports:

    Weather Delays STS-113 Landing for Third Straight Day
    This view of a Cape Canaveral launchpad says it all - it is WET in Florida! Image: NASA Select/NewsFromSpace.comLow cloud ceilings and precipitation at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., forced mission managers to wave off Space Shuttle Endeavourís second and final landing attempt for Friday. It was the third consecutive day that poor weather has prohibited the STS-113 and Expedition Five crews from coming home.
    Weather satellite imagery shows the clouds socking in KSC. Image: NASA Select/NewsFromSpace.comThe focus now turns to Saturdayís four landing opportunities, which include two in Florida and two at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The first opportunity is during orbit 215 at [2:37PM EST/1937 GMT] at Kennedy, with the deorbit burn occurring at [1:32PM EST/1832 GMT]. The second attempt is on orbit 216 at [4:15PM EST/2115 GMT]. The first Edwards attempt is during orbit 217 at [5:45PM EST/2245 GMT]. The second Edwards attempt is at [7:22PM EST Saturday/0022 GMT Sunday] during orbit 218 and is the final attempt of the day. Radar data shows rain approaching the landing strip. Image: NASA Select/NewsFromSpace.com
    Forecasts call for much improved conditions in Florida on Saturday and acceptable conditions at Edwards. Forecasters and controllers will continue to monitor the weather.

    New ISS pics are available in the NASA Gallery.


  • 06 December - Afternoon Update - The first of today's landing opportunities has been cancelled. We should know the final decision on the second opportunity by about 2PM EST. NASA reports:

    Landing Hopes Turn to Today's Second Opportunity
    A Cape Canaveral meteorologist releases a weather balloon to help gauge conditions at the landing site. NASA photo KSC-02PD-1859.Flight controllers waved off STS-113's first landing opportunity of the day at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., due to low cloud ceilings and rain. Now, they turn their attention to today's second and final opportunity, which begins with a deorbit burn at [2:27PM EST/1931 GMT] and culminates with a [3:33PM EST/2033 GMT] landing.
    If Endeavour is unable to come home today, four opportunities are available Saturday -- two in Florida and two at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

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


  • 06 December 2002 - Flight Day 14 - It's Friday - a good day for a landing? We doubt it - weather is still not goodAnything is possible, however, so keep checking for updates. NASA reports:

    STS-113 to Try Landing Friday
    The ISS as seen after Endeavour's undocking. NASA photo.Flight controllers are once again closely watching weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center. Endeavour and its seven-member crew is slated for a Florida landing today, weather permitting.
    There are two landing opportunities in Florida today. The first begins with a deorbit firing of Endeavourís engines at [12:51PM EST/1751 GMT] resulting in a [1:57PM EST/1857 GMT] landing. If weather does not permit a landing on the first opportunity, there is a second, with a deorbit burn at [2:27PM EST/1927 GMT] resulting in a [3:33PM EST/2033 GMT] landing.
    Preliminary forecasts for today continue to show low cloud ceilings, possible windy conditions and rain at the Florida landing site. A clearing trend is expected over the next 24 hours with improved conditions in the vicinity of the Kennedy Space Center on Saturday. The alternate shuttle landing site at Edwards Air Force Base in California will be called up for support as well on Saturday.

    Stay tuned...




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