WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Space Shuttle Atlantis, led by Commander Brent Jett, is scheduled to land at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. on Thursday, Sept. 21, completing space shuttle mission STS-115. Touchdown is expected at about 6:21 a.m. EDT at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility. Atlantis began its mission of nearly 12 days to the International Space Station on Sept. 9.
The shuttle was originally scheduled to land on Wednesday, Sept. 20, but waved off due to weather conditions and the presence of unknown objects near the shuttle. After additional inspection of the vehicle yesterday and today for possible orbital debris damage, the mission management team gave its approval for landing.
Landing is slated to occur on orbit 187 at the mission-elapsed time of 11 days, 19 hours, six minutes. The deorbit burn will occur at 5:14 a.m. EDT. A second Kennedy landing opportunity is available at 7:57 a.m. EDT, with the deorbit burn at 6:51 a.m. EDT.
Mission managers are expected to attempt a landing only at Kennedy Thursday unless there are technical reasons that would necessitate other plans.
If landing occurs as scheduled, this will be the 63rd landing at Kennedy in the history of the shuttle program. Atlantis will be serviced and prepared for its next mission, STS-117, set for February 2007.
About an hour after touchdown, the STS-115 crew members will undergo initial physical examinations and meet with their families. A post landing news conference with NASA Administrator Michael Griffin will be held no earlier than 8 a.m. EDT. A post-mission press conference with the STS-115 crew is scheduled at Kennedy's News Center no earlier than six hours after landing. Questions for both events will be taken only at Kennedy.
Kennedy's News Center will open for landing activities at 3 a.m. EDT Thursday, Sept. 21 and close at 4:30 p.m. EDT. The STS-115 mission badges are in effect through landing. The pass and identification building on State Road 3 will be open for media badging activities on Thursday from 3 to 4:30 a.m. EDT. The last bus will depart from Kennedy's Press Site for the Shuttle Landing Facility an hour before landing.
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