SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Discovery Crew Prepares for Landing Wednesday*
Image Above: The STS-120 crew members are interviewed by reporters live from Discovery. Image credit: NASA TV TO VIEW IMAGE GO TO:http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html
The crew will spend today preparing for landing. Discovery’s first landing opportunity is at 1:02 p.m. EST Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Weather forecasters predict favorable landing conditions once a cold front passes through late Tuesday night. The backup landing sites at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., will not be considered Wednesday.
+ View landing ground tracks http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts120/news/landing.html
Space shuttle Discovery’s crew left the International Space Station Monday morning after almost 11 days of joint operations with the Expedition 16 crew. The shuttle undocked from the station at 5:32 a.m. as they flew over the South Pacific.
STS-120 Pilot George Zamka backed the orbiter about 400 feet from the station and performed a fly-around to allow crew members to collect video and imagery of the station in its new configuration. He completed the final separation engine burn at 7:15 a.m.
The shuttle crew members used the shuttle robot arm and the 50-foot long Orbiter Boom Sensor System to conduct a late inspection of the thermal protection system.
During its stay at the station, which began Oct. 25, the STS-120 crew continued the on-orbit construction of the station with the installation of the Harmony Node 2 module and the relocation of the P6 truss.
The crew installed Harmony Oct. 26 and did four spacewalks at the station. During the third spacewalk, the crew installed the P6 truss and solar array pair in its permanent location outboard of the port truss. The fourth spacewalk was changed during the mission so that the crew could repair a torn solar array on the P6 truss. Following the successful repair work, the crew was able to fully deploy the solar array.
Discovery also delivered a new station crew member, Flight Engineer Daniel Tani. He replaced astronaut Clayton Anderson. Anderson arrived at the station in June with STS-117.