Encyclopedia Astronautica
2008.06.14 - STS-124 MCC Status Report #28


Discovery’s crew is now just hours away from landing at the Kennedy Space Center.

The crew was awakened at 1:32 a.m. CDT to “Life on an Ocean Wave,” performed by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Band. The song was played for Commander Mark Kelly and the entire crew.

Discovery has two opportunities to land this morning at KSC, at 10:15 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. Imagery experts declared the shuttle’s heat shield healthy and safe for entry and landing during yesterday’s Mission Management Team meeting.

The first landing opportunity is on orbit 217. The crew will close the payload bay doors at 6:30 a.m. At 8:50 a.m. Mission Control will give the final go/no go for the deorbit burn, scheduled for 9:10 a.m.

The ground track for the first attempt brings the shuttle over the western coast of Mexico, near the border with Guatemala. The shuttle will cross toward Cozumel and Cancun before heading out over the Gulf of Mexico. Discovery will then cross the Florida coast near Naples, heading toward Lakeland and then on toward runway 15 at KSC.

The second opportunity, on the subsequent orbit would take Discovery across central Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and then on an easterly course across Florida to KSC.

With a large high pressure system in place off the North Carolina coast, forecasters are calling for only scattered clouds and light winds in Florida for landing attempts Saturday and, if needed, Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center.

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