Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Discovery ready for last landing ...

Space shuttle Discovery’s payload bay doors are closed and everything continues to proceed on schedule for this morning’s landing attempt.

Weather currently is both forecast and observed “go.” Astronaut Rick Sturckow is flying weather reconnaissance at Kennedy Space Center, where winds are forecast to be high, but within limits for runway 15. Sturckow will fly runway approaches to assess conditions for Discovery’s landing. The winds from the southeast (130 degrees) are forecast to be 15 knots, peaking to 23 knots, providing a 10 knot crosswind and 21 knot headwind.

At this time, winds are only six knots, peaking to 12 knots. End of mission weather flight rules state that daylight crosswinds may not exceed 15 knots, headwinds may not exceed 25 knots and tailwinds may not exceed 15 knots. Also, peak winds may not be greater than 10 knots over the average wind.

At 8:22 a.m., Mission Control is expected to give a “go” for Discovery’s computers to begin running the Ops 3 entry software. At 8:52 a.m. a “go” is expected for crew suit up. The “go” for deorbit burn is expected by 10:32 a.m.

The deorbit burn is scheduled for 10:52:09 a.m. and will lead to a landing at 11:57:44.

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