SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468
*Crew Tests Jets, Stows Equipment for Landing*
Image above: Space Shuttle Discovery is pictured from a miniature satellite that was released from Discovery's payload bay on Wednesday. Image Credit: DOD Space Test Program TO VIEW PICTURE GO TO: :http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html
Space Shuttle Discovery’s seven astronauts are preparing for Friday’s landing. Discovery is scheduled to touch down at 3:56 p.m. EST Friday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
This morning, Commander Mark Polansky and Pilot Bill Oefelein checked out Discovery’s systems and jets that will be used in the deorbit burn and landing. Also, crew members are busy stowing equipment and other items. Later in the day, the crew will review landing procedures and stow the Ku-band antenna.
At 2:57 p.m., crew members are scheduled to take a break to talk with reporters from CNN and ABC News and with students at the Kenai, Alaska, Challenger Center.
In other activities, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment (ANDE) was deployed from Discovery's payload bay at 1:23 p.m. ANDE will measure the density and composition of the low-Earth orbit atmosphere while being tracked from the ground. The data will be used to better predict the movement of objects in orbit. Two other small satellites were deployed Wednesday night.
Discovery undocked from the station Tuesday, ending an eight-day stay at the orbital outpost. While there, the crew continued the construction of the station with the addition of the P5 spacer truss segment during the first of four spacewalks. The next two spacewalks rewired the station’s power system, leaving it in a permanent setup. A fourth spacewalk was added to allow the crew to retract solar arrays that had folded improperly.
Discovery also delivered a new crew member and more than two tons of equipment and supplies to the station. Almost two tons of items no longer needed on the station will return to Earth with STS-116.
In addition to Kennedy, landing opportunities are available at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and at White Sands Space Harbor, N.M.
For the latest news and information on the International Space Station and the Expedition 14 crew, please visit the main station page.