The wakeup song, 'Hail to the Spirit of Liberty' by John Philip Sousa, was played at 11:55 p.m. Tuesday for Pilot Alan Poindexter.
Deorbit preparations begin at 3:05 a.m. Then the crew will ready their seats and should get the okay to close the payload bay doors at 4:19 a.m. If the near perfect weather continues, Commander Steve Frick will conduct the deorbit burn at 6:59 a.m. That will slow Atlantis enough to fall out of orbit to begin its descent toward a landing at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at 8:07 a.m.
Atlantis has three additional opportunities to land today if needed. A second opportunity to land in Florida would begin with an engine firing at 8:35 a.m. leading to touchdown at 9:42 a.m.
Opportunities also are available to land at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The first opportunity to land at Edwards would begin with an engine firing at 10:05 a.m. leading to an 11:12 a.m. touchdown. A second opportunity to land in California would begin with an engine firing at 11:41 a.m. leading to a 12:47 p.m. touchdown.
Atlantis' crew -Commander Steve Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stan Love, Hans Schlegel and Dan Tani -installed Columbus Feb. 11 and conducted three spacewalks to prepare the lab for its scientific work. They also replaced an expended nitrogen tank on the station's P1 truss and retrieved a failed control moment gyroscope for return to Earth.
The next STS-122 status report will be issued following landing.<