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NASA’S Space Shuttle Discovery Set to Land Monday


July 14, 2006 - Commander Steve Lindsey and his crew onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery will complete their mission, STS-121, with a landing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., set for 9:07 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 17. Discovery began its 13-day mission to the International Space Station on July 4.

Landing at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility is slated to occur on orbit 203 at the mission-elapsed time of 12 days, 18 hours and 29 minutes. The deorbit burn will occur at 8:04 a.m. A second Kennedy landing opportunity is available at 10:42 a.m., with the deorbit burn at 9:40 a.m.

Two landing opportunities are available at the back-up landing location on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Monday. However, mission managers are expected to attempt a landing only at Kennedy Monday unless there are technical reasons that would necessitate other plans. The first opportunity at Edwards would be 12:11 p.m. EDT and the second at 1:46 p.m.

If landing occurs as scheduled, this will be the 62nd landing at Kennedy in the history of the shuttle program. Discovery will be serviced and prepared for its next mission, STS-116, targeted for December.

About an hour after touchdown, the STS-121 crew members will meet with their families and undergo initial physical examinations. A post-mission press conference with the crew is scheduled at Kennedy’s News Center no earlier than six hours after landing.

If Discovery lands at Edwards, an augmented Kennedy convoy team will be onsite to safe the vehicle, disembark the crew and move the orbiter to the mate/demate device, the structure used to prep the shuttle for its ferry flight back to Kennedy atop NASA’s modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

Kennedy’s News Center will open for landing activities at 10 a.m. EDT Sunday, July 16, and close at 4 p.m. On landing day, the News Center will open at 5 a.m. and close at approximately 5 p.m. The STS-121 mission badges are in effect through landing. The pass and identification building on State Road 3 will be open on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Monday from 5 to 7 a.m. The last bus will depart from Kennedy’s Press Site for the Shuttle Landing Facility an hour before landing.


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