STS-113 MCC Status Report #21
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2002 - 6 p.m. CST
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Activities aboard Endeavour today focused on preparations for Wednesday's planned landing at the Kennedy Space Center, concluding a voyage of 4.5 million miles.

Commander Jim Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart and Flight Engineer John Herrington activated one of three hydraulic power units on Endeavour, tested all of its aerosurfaces, and then test-fired Endeavour's steering jets. The remaining crewmembers - Mike Lopez-Alegria, and Expedition 5 crewmembers Valery Korzun, Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev - continued packing up gear and hardware in anticipation of tomorrow's landing.

Endeavour has two opportunities to land at the Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday. The first begins with a deorbit burn of the Orbital Maneuvering System engines at 1:42 p.m. CST, followed by a landing at 2:48 p.m. In the event weather prevents a landing on that first opportunity, there is a second opportunity, beginning with a deorbit burn at 3:20 p.m. and resulting in a 4:26 p.m. landing. Preliminary weather forecasts call for the possibility of clouds and rain showers in the vicinity of the three-mile-long landing strip on Wednesday. The backup landing site at California's Edwards Air Force Base was not activated for Wednesday. Endeavour has sufficient consumables to remain in orbit until Sunday.

The seven crewmembers took a few minutes this afternoon to talk with CBS' "Up to the Minute," TV-E Spain and the Tulsa World newspaper. The crew discussed its successful shuttle mission as well as the Expedition 5 crew's to date 181-day experience in space.

Meanwhile, aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 6 crew -Commander Ken Bowersox, NASA ISS Science Officer Don Pettit and Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin - spent today settling into its new home and unpacking some of the equipment and hardware carried to the station by Endeavour. The crew also enjoyed some time off during its first full day alone on the station.

Endeavour's crew will begin a scheduled eight-hour sleep period at 9:50 p.m. today, waking at 5:50 a.m. Wednesday to prepare for a homecoming to the Kennedy Space Center.

The next STS-113 status report will be issued Wednesday morning or earlier if events warrant.

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