BY JUSTIN RAY
May 29, 2000 -- Follow the mission of space shuttle Atlantis to repair the International Space Station. Reload this page for the very latest on the flight.
See our current Mission Status Center for updates on space shuttle Atlantis' mission to the International Space Station scheduled for launch Sept. 8.
0757 GMT (3:57 a.m. EDT)
Also, be sure to watch our QuickTime video clip of the landing.
0742 GMT (3:42 a.m. EDT)
Technicians plan to tow space shuttle Atlantis from the runway to Orbiter Processing Facility bay 3 at about 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT), arriving outside the building an hour later and fully inside by 8:15 a.m. EDT (1215 GMT). In the OPF hangar Atlantis will undergo post-flight deservicing to prepare the shuttle for its next space journey -- the STS-106 mission in September to outfit the International Space Station for the first full-time resident crew. Liftoff is tentatively scheduled for around Sept. 8, which is the next space shuttle launch.
Here are the preliminary landing times:
Main gear touchdown
0701 GMT (3:01 a.m. EDT)
Watch our QuickTime video clip of this morning's landing.
0640 GMT (2:40 a.m. EDT)
0637 GMT (2:37 a.m. EDT)
Mission Control just told the Atlantis astronauts they can take off their day-glo orange launch and entry spacesuits. The crew should exit the shuttle within the next 40 to 45 minutes.
0624 GMT (2:24 a.m. EDT)
0621 GMT (2:21 a.m. EDT)
0620 GMT (2:20 a.m. EDT)
0619 GMT (2:19 a.m. EDT)
0619 GMT (2:19 a.m. EDT)
0618 GMT (2:18 a.m. EDT)
0617 GMT (2:17 a.m. EDT)
0616 GMT (2:16 a.m. EDT)
0615 GMT (2:15 a.m. EDT)
0614 GMT (2:14 a.m. EDT)
0612 GMT (2:12 a.m. EDT)
0611 GMT (2:11 a.m. EDT)
0610 GMT (2:10 a.m. EDT)
0609 GMT (2:09 a.m. EDT)
0606 GMT (2:06 a.m. EDT)
0605 GMT (2:05 a.m. EDT)
0603 GMT (2:03 a.m. EDT)
0600 GMT (2:00 a.m. EDT)
0556 GMT (1:56 a.m. EDT)
Atlantis is currently at altitude of 47 miles with a speed over 16,000 miles per hour.
0555 GMT (1:55 a.m. EDT)
The latest weather observation at the runway shows a visibility of 10 miles, just a few clouds at 27,000 feet, southwesterly winds at 7 to 9 knot, a temperature of 79 degrees F and relavity humidity of 68 percent.
0550 GMT (1:50 a.m. EDT)
0548 GMT (1:48 a.m. EDT)
0540 GMT (1:40 a.m. EDT)
0536 GMT (1:36 a.m. EDT)
0530 GMT (1:30 a.m. EDT)
Landing today will occur on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center -- the northwest to southeast strip of the Shuttle Landing Facility. The SLF was built in 1975. It is 300 feet wide and 15,000 feet long with 1,000-foot overruns at each end. The strip is located about 3 miles northwest of the 525-foot tall Vehicle Assembly Building.
0520 GMT (1:20 a.m. EDT)
0516 GMT (1:16 a.m. EDT)
Today's landing will be the 22nd consecutive to occur at Kennedy Space Center dating back to May 1996 and the 29th of the last 30 shuttle missions. KSC is the most used landing site for the space shuttle program with this the 51st touchdown. Edwards Air Force Base in California has seen 45 landings and White Sands in New Mexico supported one. This also will be the 14th night landing for a space shuttle.
0512 GMT (1:12 a.m. EDT)
0510 GMT (1:10 a.m. EDT)
0507 GMT (1:07 a.m. EDT)
0458 GMT (12:58 a.m. EDT)
0449 GMT (12:49 a.m. EDT)
0446 GMT (12:46 a.m. EDT)
0432 GMT (12:32 a.m. EDT)
With the entry checklist now opened, the crew has performed a successful steering check of the orbital maneuvering system engine nozzles needed for the upcoming deorbit burn. Also, switches in the cockpit were flipped to pre-start the shuttle's three Auxiliary Power Units used to drive the shuttle's hydraulics for moving the wing flaps, deploying the landing gear and steering the nose wheel upon touchdown.
Weather conditions are still promising for an on-time landing at 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 GMT) today.
0408 GMT (12:08 a.m. EDT)
Mission Control has instructed the astronauts to begin the "fluid loading" procedure in which each crewmember drinks large amounts of liquids to aid in readapting after landing. This is a major milestone to support the first opportunity for entry and landing.
Entry Flight Director John Shannon will make a final decision whether or not to allow Atlantis to return home on schedule at around 12:58 a.m. EDT. The deorbit burn would then follow at 1:12:10 a.m. EDT, followed by touchdown at 2:20 a.m. EDT.
0405 GMT (12:05 a.m. EDT)
0340 GMT (11:40 p.m. EDT)
In space, the astronauts have switched Atlantis' flight computers from the on-orbit to the entry software called OPS-3. Also, switches in the cockpit were verified in the correct positions for the return to Earth.
CAPCOM Rick Sturckow just radioed the latest entry data to commander Jim Halsell on the flight deck of Atlantis. The deorbit burn is scheduled to begin at 1:12:10 a.m. EDT (0512:10 GMT) using the shuttle's twin orbital maneuvering system engines for three minutes and five seconds beginning. The burn will slow Atlantis by about 314 feet per second, enough to drop the 110-ton shuttle from orbit to start the hour-long dive through Earth's atmosphere.
At 2:16 a.m. EDT (0616 GMT), commander Halsell will make a 245-degree left-overhead turn to align Atlantis with Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15. Touchdown is expected at 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 GMT).
0256 GMT (10:56 p.m. EDT)
The earlier concerns with rain has not materialized.
Landing remains scheduled for 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 GMT).
0237 GMT (10:37 p.m. EDT)
Activities remain on track to support a landing at 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 GMT) at Kennedy Space Center, weather permitting. There has not been any change in the forecast, which is still calling for crosswinds to be slightly above the acceptable limit at the runway. A second and final landing opportunity of the night will come one orbit later at KSC with touchdown at 3:56 a.m. EDT (0756 GMT).
Upcoming in the next few minutes, the astronauts will transition the shuttle's onboard computers from the OPS-2 on-orbit software to the OPS-3 package for landing. In about 75 minutes, the crew will don their day-glo orange launch and entry spacesuits.
Over the past hour or so, the mission specialists seats were reinstalled after being stored away following launch, the craft's hydraulic system was configured, the flash evaporator cooling system checkout was completed and deactivation of the payloads was finished.
0115 GMT (9:15 p.m. EDT)
Entry flight director John Shannon just received a full weather briefing from the Spaceflight Meteorology Group forecasters in Mission Control. The forecast is still calling for unacceptable crosswinds at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at the planned 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 GMT) touchdown. West-southwesterly winds are expected at 8 gusting to 13 knots, and the limit is 12 knots.
Other than crosswinds, there are no other weather concerns tonight.
Read our earlier Mission Status Center coverage of STS-101.
See the path Atlantis will take on its return to Earth with our STS-101 Landing Tracker.
KSC Orbit 155 - touchdown in Florida at 0620 GMT.
Space shuttle Atlantis makes a smooth nighttime landing at the Kennedy Space Center under the control of commander Jim Halsell.
PLAY (171k, 23sec QuickTime file)
Atlantis astronaut Jim Voss gives a guided tour through the International Space Station.
PLAY (1.3M, 2min 3sec QuickTime file)
Atlantis astronauts replace a faulty battery and associated electronics in the floor of station's Zarya module.
PLAY (411k, 56sec QuickTime file)
The Russian Strela cargo boom is assembled and attached to the International Space Station by spacewalking astronauts.
PLAY (326k, 34sec QuickTime file)
Spacewalkers remove and replace a failed U.S. communications antenna assembly from the side of the International Space Station.
PLAY (172k, 18sec QuickTime file)
Space shuttle Atlantis blasts off at sunrise on May 19 on a 10-day repair mission to the International Space Station.
PLAY (480k, 56sec QuickTime file)
A tracking camera positioned in front of launch pad 39A gives this dramatic view of shuttle Atlantis lifting off.
PLAY (157k, 19sec QuickTime file)
Atlantis' twin solid rocket boosters are separted just over two minutes into flight to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.
PLAY (176k, 36sec QuickTime file)
The seven-member crew of space shuttle Atlantis leave their quarters on May 19 for the launch pad.
PLAY (299k, 14sec QuickTime file)
The sun sets on launch complex 39A and the rotating service structure is pulled away from the shuttle. One hour is compressed into seconds in this time lapsed video.
PLAY (146k, 15sec QuickTime file)
NASA animation with narration shows Atlantis approaching and docking to the International Space Station and later separating for return to Earth.
PLAY (249k, 1min, 04sec QuickTime file)
STS-101 Lead Flight Director Phil Engelauf describes the goals and objectives of Atlantis' mission to the International Space Station.
PLAY (269k, 38sec QuickTime file)
FULL VIDEO LISTING
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Meet the crew
Get to know the seven astronauts that are aboard shuttle Atlantis' mission in Spaceflight Now's crew report. You can read their biographies and hear the crew decribe the flight in movie clips.
STS-101 index - See a listing of all our STS-101 stories and coverage.
Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch.
Launch windows - The predicted windows in which Atlantis could launch over the the next week.
Mission timeline - Look ahead with a brief summary of events planned each day during the shuttle flight.
In the VAB - Atlantis is hoisted vertically and attached to its fuel tank and solid rocket boosters in the Vehicle Assmbly Building. A main engine was also replaced.
Rollout - The fully assembled shuttle Atlantis is rolled to launch pad 39A.
Fixing Atlantis - Workers replace the faulty hydraulic unit aboard Atlantis last week.
Explore the Net
NASA Human Spaceflight - Space agency Web site dedicated to International Space Station and space shuttle programs.
Press kit - Official STS-101 mission press kit.
CBS News - Comprehensive coverage of STS-101 by respected journalist William Harwood.
SpaceRef - STS-101 space shuttle mission guide.
Shuttle Media Reference Guide - Complete in-depth look at space shuttle systems and facilities.
SpaceRef search engine will scour five major space shuttle web sites in seconds.