2315 GMT (6:15 p.m. EST)
Discovery has arrived back inside OPF bay 2.
2133 GMT (4:33 p.m. EST)
The shuttle is making its way down the tow road that connects the runway to the orbiter processing area near the Vehicle Assembly Building.
2110 GMT (4:10 p.m. EST)
Discovery is in motion! It is being towed from the Shuttle Landing Facility back to the Orbiter Processing Facility where the ship will begin the lengthy process to deconfigure the spaceplane from flight duty and ready it for public display.
2100 GMT (4:00 p.m. EST)
The orbiter's crew module hatch has been closed and the tow vehicle is hooked up to the nose gear for hauling Discovery off the runway this afternoon.
1845 GMT (1:45 p.m. EST)
The astronauts climbed aboard the AstroVan to head for crew quarters where they will be reunited with family members and have some dinner.

They will spend the night here before returning to Houston for a welcome ceremony at about 4 p.m. local time Thursday at Ellington Field.

1830 GMT (1:30 p.m. EST)
The 6-person crew looks to be in good shape after 12-and-a-half days off the planet.
1827 GMT (1:27 p.m. EST)
The formal handoff from Houston to the Cape team is complete.
1818 GMT (1:18 p.m. EST)
The six astronauts have walked down the stairs from the Crew Transport Vehicle for the traditional walkaround look at the space shuttle on the runway. There to greet them is NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, KSC Center Director Bob Cabana, space operations chief Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA shuttle program manager John Shannon, USA's shuttle program manager Howard DeCastro, launch director Mike Leinbach, plus other space officials.
1805 GMT (1:05 p.m. EST)
The Mission Control Center in Houston is handing over shuttle Discovery to the landing convoy at Kennedy Space Center.
1804 GMT (1:04 p.m. EST)
The safety inspections show no areas of concerns thus far.
1750 GMT (12:50 p.m. EST)
Ground technicians estimate the tow of Discovery off the runway will start around 4 p.m. EST.
1745 GMT (12:45 p.m. EST)
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1744 GMT (12:44 p.m. EST)
Officially, the first crewmember exited at 12:28 p.m. and the crew egress was called complete at 12:40 p.m. EDT.
1741 GMT (12:41 p.m. EST)
All six astronauts have exited the space shuttle. They are inside the Crew Transport Vehicle -- a modified airport "People Mover" -- that pulled up to the side hatch for the astronauts to enter. The CTV features beds and comfortable seats for the astronauts to receive medical checks after returning to Earth's gravity from the weightless environment of space.
1738 GMT (12:38 p.m. EST)
Commander Steve Lindsey has turned the spacecraft over to the astronaut support personnel now aboard the shuttle. He's about to climb out of Discovery.
1733 GMT (12:33 p.m. EST)
The astronauts have completed the post-landing procedures, which have progressed smoothly today.
1730 GMT (12:30 p.m. EST)
The mobile steps have been positioned next to Discovery's hatch along with the Crew Transport Vehicle for the astronauts to enter.
1723 GMT (12:23 p.m. EST)
Enduring the heat of re-entry one last time, the shuttle Discovery dropped out of orbit and returned to Earth Wednesday to wrap up a near-flawless 39th and final mission, a milestone marking the beginning of the end for NASA's winged rocketships.

Read our full story.
1717 GMT (12:17 p.m. EST)
The orbiter's vent doors are about to be repositioned.
1716 GMT (12:16 p.m. EST)
The APU shutdown has been completed by pilot Eric Boe.
1715 GMT (12:15 p.m. EST)
The astronauts were just given permission to remove their entry spacesuits at their leisure.
1714 GMT (12:14 p.m. EST)
The main engine nozzles have been repositioned, or gimbaled, to the "rain drain" orientation. And now the hydraulics are no longer required, so Discovery's three Auxiliary Power Units are being shut down.
1711 GMT (12:11 p.m. EST)
On the runway, technicians are using instruments to "sniff" the shuttle's exterior to check for any hazardous vapors.
1707 GMT (12:07 p.m. EST)
The ship's flight computers are transitioning to the OPS-9 software package.
1706 GMT (12:06 p.m. EST)
The pyrotechnics for the crew module hatch, landing gear and drag chute have been safed, commander Steve Lindsey reports.
1705 GMT (12:05 p.m. EST)
The external tank umbilical doors on the shuttle's belly have been opened and the body flap set by pilot Eric Boe.
1704 GMT (12:04 p.m. EST)
Here are the landing times in Eastern Standard Time and Mission Elapsed Time:
Main Gear Touchdown
11:57:17 a.m. EST
MET: 12 days, 19 hours, 3 minutes, 53 seconds

Nose Gear Touchdown
11:57:28 a.m. EST
MET: 12 days, 19 hours, 4 minutes, 4 seconds

Wheels Stop
11:58:14 a.m. EST
MET: 12 days, 19 hours, 4 minutes, 50 seconds
1701 GMT (12:01 p.m. EST)
The astronauts are beginning standard post-landing activities to safe the spacecraft.
1700 GMT (12:00 p.m. EST)
"It's good to see those guys safely on the ground," space station commander Scott Kelly replied to Mission Control with news of Discovery's landing.
1658 GMT (11:58 a.m. EST)
WHEELS STOP. With the same grace and majesty displayed throughout her three decades of spaceflight, the shuttle Discovery has returned to the homeport for the last time. Her final journey is safely complete.

Discovery's rich history of service to humanity included 39 flights, 148,221,675 miles traveled, 5,830 orbits of Earth and 365 days aloft.

Discovery carried out both shuttle return-to-flight missions in 1988 and 2005 to help America's space program rebound after tragedies, performed daring satellite repair missions in the early 1980's, deployed the Hubble Space Telescope and the Ulysses solar probe during launches in 1990, did the first rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir in 1995 and final joint shuttle docking in 1998, and played an integral role in building the International Space Station.

Construction of Discovery began in August 1979 and the spacecraft was rolled out of the Palmdale factory in October 1983. It became NASA's third operational space shuttle with its maiden voyage in August 1984.

Now back on the planet where she will stay, Discovery shall undergo safing and deservicing for public display at a museum, presumably the Smithsonian.
1657 GMT (11:57 a.m. EST)
Discovery is back at the Kennedy Space Center after this final mission that spanned 202 orbits of the planet and 5,304,140 miles.

The orbiter's last trip to the International Space Station delivered and opened the Permanent Multipurpose Module, a roomy float-in closet for storage, installed another outdoor spare parts pallet, and featured a pair of spacewalks to help maintain the outpost.
1657 GMT (11:57 a.m. EST)
TOUCHDOWN! Main gear touchdown. Pilot Eric Boe is putting out the drag chute as commander Steve Lindsey brings the nose gear to the surface of Runway 15.
1656 GMT (11:56 a.m. EST)
Pilot Eric Boe is deploying the landing gear. Standing by for touchdown at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility.
1656 GMT (11:56 a.m. EST)
Field in sight. Commander Steve Lindsey reports he can see the runway -- after popping through some clouds -- as he guides Discovery to landing.
1656 GMT (11:56 a.m. EST)
Wings are level on final approach. Discovery's final minute of flight.
1656 GMT (11:56 a.m. EST)
Altitude 10,000 feet. The shuttle descending at a rate seven times steeper than that of a commercial airliner.
1655 GMT (11:55 a.m. EST)
Now descending through 14,000 feet in altitude at 400 mph.
1655 GMT (11:55 a.m. EST)
Less than 90 degrees left in this turn. Discovery is right on track.
1655 GMT (11:55 a.m. EST)
Discovery has passed over the Atlantic and looped around to line up with the runway.
1654 GMT (11:54 a.m. EST)
Discovery traveling 500 mph, some 5 miles in altitude.
1654 GMT (11:54 a.m. EST)
The shuttle is in the Heading Alignment Cylinder, an imaginary circle to align with Runway 15. Commander Steve Lindsey is piloting Discovery through a 250-degree left overhead turn to loop around for landing on the northwest to southeast runway.
1654 GMT (11:54 a.m. EST)
Commander Steve Lindsey has taken manual control of Discovery for landing.
1653 GMT (11:53 a.m. EST)
The twin sonic booms have rumbled across the Kennedy Space Center area, announcing the shuttle's arrival.
1653 GMT (11:53 a.m. EST)
Four minutes to landing. Traveling 645 mph, 9 miles in altitude, 27 miles from the runway.
1652 GMT (11:52 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 11 miles in altitude, 35 miles from the runway, dropping at 286 feet per second.
1652 GMT (11:52 a.m. EST)
The spacecraft remains on course. The crew has been given a "go" for normal deployment of the drag chute after main gear touchdown.
1651 GMT (11:51 a.m. EST)
Winds have shifted to 150 degrees, which are right down the runway.
1650 GMT (11:50 a.m. EST)
Now 50 miles from touchdown.
1650 GMT (11:50 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 15 miles in altitude, 72 miles from the runway.
1650 GMT (11:50 a.m. EST)
Long-range cameras at the landing site have spotted the approaching spacecraft.
1650 GMT (11:50 a.m. EST)
Seven minutes to go. Air data probes are being deployed from the shuttle's nose to feed air speed, altitude and angle of attack information to the computers for navigation.
1649 GMT (11:49 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 19 miles in altitude, 109 miles from the runway, traveling at 2,476 mph.
1648 GMT (11:48 a.m. EST)
Discovery has reached western Florida at 120,000 feet to fly near Sarasota. The flight path will go over Lakeland and St. Cloud en route to the Space Coast.
1647 GMT (11:47 a.m. EST)
Ten minutes from landing. Discovery is 26 miles in altitude, 242 miles from the runway, traveling at 4,500 mph.
1646 GMT (11:46 a.m. EST)
Current winds at the runway at 18 peaking to 28 knots.
1645 GMT (11:45 a.m. EST)
Now 12 minutes from touchdown. Mission Control computes Discovery will land 2,100 feet down the runway at 195 knots.
1645 GMT (11:45 a.m. EST)
The MILA tracking station at the Cape has acquired Discovery's signal.
1644 GMT (11:44 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 33 miles in altitude, 553 miles from the runway, traveling at 8,200 mph.
1644 GMT (11:44 a.m. EST)
The space shuttle is going just west Cuba as the ground track enters the Gulf of Mexico toward Florida.
1643 GMT (11:43 a.m. EST)
The orbiter's path is paralleling the Yucatan Peninsula's coastline.
1642 GMT (11:42 a.m. EST)
After flying over Central America, Discovery has emerged out over the Caribbean Sea.
1641 GMT (11:41 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 38 miles in altitude, traveling at 11,700 mph.
1640 GMT (11:40 a.m. EST)
The space shuttle is approaching landfall in the skies over Guatemala and El Salvador.
1638 GMT (11:38 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 42 miles in altitude, 1,600 miles away from the runway, traveling at 14,000 mph.
1637 GMT (11:37 a.m. EST)
Now 20 minutes from landing. Discovery is 44 miles in altitude, 2,000 miles away from the runway, traveling at 15,000 mph.
1632 GMT (11:32 a.m. EST)
Time to touchdown now 25 minutes. Discovery is continuing her plunge over the Pacific Ocean 48 miles in altitude and traveling at 16,700 mph.
1631 GMT (11:31 a.m. EST)
The shuttle is in the midst of the four banks to scrub off speed as it descends into the atmosphere. These turns basically remove the energy vehicle built up during launch.
1630 GMT (11:30 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 53 miles in altitude, 3,900 miles away from the runway, descending at 375 feet per second.
1627 GMT (11:27 a.m. EST)
Discovery is 65 miles in altitude, traveling at Mach 24.
1627 GMT (11:27 a.m. EST)
Now 30 minutes from touchdown as Discovery plunges into the upper atmosphere. The path will take the spacecraft from the Pacific to Florida on a northeasterly trajectory toward the landing site. See ground track.
1625 GMT (11:25 a.m. EST)
ENTRY INTERFACE. Discovery's thermal protection system is feeling heat beginning to build as the orbiter enters the top fringes of the atmosphere -- a period known as entry interface.

The shuttle is flying at Mach 25 with its nose elevated 40 degrees, wings level, at an altitude of 400,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean.

Touchdown remains set for 11:57 a.m. EST in Florida.

1622 GMT (11:22 a.m. EST)
Now 35 minutes left to go. This will be the 76th shuttle landing at Kennedy Space Center.

The Florida spaceport's Shuttle Landing Facility was built in 1975. The concrete strip is 300 feet wide and 15,000 feet long with 1,000-foot overruns at each end. The runway is located about three miles northwest of the 525-foot tall Vehicle Assembly Building.

Discovery is targeting Runway 15, which is the northwest to southeast approach. The shuttle will make a 250-degree left overhead turn to align with the runway.

1620 GMT (11:20 a.m. EST)
The crew's entry checklist has been completed. The astronauts are moving to the entry maneuver cuecard now.
1619 GMT (11:19 a.m. EST)
Altitude now 125 miles.
1617 GMT (11:17 a.m. EST)
Now 40 minutes to touchdown. Onboard guidance has maneuvered Discovery from its heads-down, tail-forward position needed for the deorbit burn to the re-entry configuration of heads-up and nose-forward. The nose will be pitched upward 40 degrees. In this new position, the black tiles on the shuttle's belly and the reinforced carbon-carbon panels on the wing leading edges and nose cap will shield the spacecraft during the fiery plunge through the Earth's atmosphere with temperatures reaching well over 2,000 degrees F. Discovery will begin interacting with the upper fringes of the atmosphere above the South Pacific at 11:25 a.m. EST.
1615 GMT (11:15 a.m. EST)
Altitude now 150 miles.
1614 GMT (11:14 a.m. EST)
All three Auxiliary Power Units are up and running now.
1610 GMT (11:10 a.m. EST)
Meanwhile, tonight's planned rollout of shuttle Endeavour from Vehicle Assembly Building to pad 39A has been delayed by a forecast of poor weather and the chance of hail.

The move is rescheduled for Thursday night starting at 8 p.m. EST.
1609 GMT (11:09 a.m. EST)
Excess propellant reserves in the maneuvering thrusters on the shuttle's nose are being dumped overboard.
1607 GMT (11:07 a.m. EST)
Now 50 minutes from touchdown at the Kennedy Space Center to conclude Discovery's 12-day, 19-hour, 4-minute flight. The orbiter will weigh 204,736 pounds at landing, which is 63,884 pounds lighter than when it launched.
1600 GMT (11:00 a.m. EST)
Discovery is passing 215 miles above the southwestern tip of Australia.
1557 GMT (10:57 a.m. EST)
Sixty minutes to touchdown. Discovery is maneuvering to the orientation for entry. The shuttle will hit the upper atmosphere at 11:25 a.m.
1553 GMT (10:53 a.m. EST)
DEORBIT BURN COMPLETE. Discovery has successfully completed the deorbit burn for the trip back home. Landing is scheduled for 11:57 a.m. EST at the Cape to conclude this mission to the space station and Discovery's final flight.
1553 GMT (10:53 a.m. EST)
Both engines continue to fire, each producing about 6,000 pounds of thrust.
1552 GMT (10:52 a.m. EST)
DEORBIT BURN IGNITION. Flying upside down and backwards above the east-central Indian Ocean, shuttle Discovery has begun the deorbit burn. The firing of the twin Orbital Maneuvering System engines on the tail of the shuttle will last 2 minutes and 27 seconds, slowing the craft by about 200 mph to slip from orbit. The retro-burn will send Discovery to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a pinpoint touchdown at 11:57 a.m. EST.
1550 GMT (10:50 a.m. EST)
Discovery is in the proper configuration for the deorbit burn, Mission Control has confirmed for the crew.
1548 GMT (10:48 a.m. EST)
Pilot Eric Boe is activating one of three Auxiliary Power Units in advance of the burn, now four minutes away. The other two APUs will be started later in the descent to provide pressure needed to power shuttle's hydraulic systems that move the wing flaps, rudder/speed brake, drop the landing gear and steer the nose wheel. NASA ensures that at least one APU is working before conducting to the deorbit burn since the shuttle needs only a single unit to make a safe landing.
1540 GMT (10:40 a.m. EST)
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1533 GMT (10:33 a.m. EST)
The shuttle is getting maneuvered into the proper orientation for the deorbit burn.
1530 GMT (10:30 a.m. EST)
Discovery now flying above Europe for the final time, soon to cross western Russia and India before reaching the point for the deorbit burn over the Indian Ocean.
1527 GMT (10:27 a.m. EST)
GO FOR THE DEORBIT BURN! The weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center are going to cooperate for landing the space shuttle. Entry flight director Tony Ceccacci in Mission Control just gave final approval for Discovery to perform the deorbit burn at 10:52:04 a.m. EST that will commit the spacecraft for the journey back to Earth.

Touchdown in Florida on Runway 15 is set for 11:57 a.m. EST, completing a mission that delivered the Permanent Logistics Module and Express Logistics Carrier No. 4 to the International Space Station, all helping to prepare the outpost for life after the shuttle program.

1521 GMT (10:21 a.m. EST)
The Auxiliary Power Unit prestart is underway by pilot Eric Boe, putting cockpit switches in the proper position for activating the APUs.
1517 GMT (10:17 a.m. EST)
Pilot Eric Boe is completing the OMS engine gimbal check.
1510 GMT (10:10 a.m. EST)
Just minutes remain until entry flight director Tony Ceccacci will decide whether Discovery can perform the deorbit burn that puts the shuttle on its glide back to Earth for landing at 11:57 a.m. EST.
1505 GMT (10:05 a.m. EST)
Discovery is crossing the equator to begin Orbit 202, the final orbit of this space shuttle's career before returning home and going into retirement.
1501 GMT (10:01 a.m. EST)
The Spaceflight Meteorology Group reports the winds at the runway being 13 peaking to 22 knots. The crosswind component is 2 peaking to 4 knots and headwind of 12 knots.
1450 GMT (9:50 a.m. EST)
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1445 GMT (9:45 a.m. EST)
The crew has been given a "go" to start the "fluid loading" protocol. That involves drinking large amounts of liquids and salt tablets to assist in the readaptation to Earth's gravity.

This "go" from Mission Control is seen as a good step toward an on time landing. Houston typically doesn't force the crew into fluid loading unless deorbit looks at least possible.

Steve Lindsey is having water, Eric Boe is having tropical punch, Al Drew and Nicole Stott are having lemon water, Mike Barratt is having orange ade and Steve Bowen is having water and lemonade.

1442 GMT (9:42 a.m. EST)
After making another dive into KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility, weather reconnaissance pilot Rick Sturckow reports: "It's a very nice day to land on Runway 15 in Florida."
1440 GMT (9:40 a.m. EST)
The Spaceflight Meteorology Group is giving a "go" observed and "go" forecast for Kennedy Space Center's weather.
1430 GMT (9:30 a.m. EST)
Sturckow just made a dive into Runway 15 and reported light-to-moderate workload. He's setting up for another run to that northwest approach, then he'll try Runway 33.
1427 GMT (9:27 a.m. EST)
Now two-and-a-half hours from touchdown.
1421 GMT (9:21 a.m. EST)
So far, the Florida weather continues to look excellent for Discovery.
1414 GMT (9:14 a.m. EST)
NASA astronaut Rick Sturckow is airborne at the Kennedy Space Center in the Shuttle Training Aircraft to fly weather reconnaissance around the Florida spaceport today. Earlier this morning, he was flying in a T-38 jet to examine how the weather situation was developing.

The Shuttle Training Aircraft is a modified Gulfstream jet that offers a close simulation to the flying characteristics of a space shuttle during landing.

1353 GMT (8:53 a.m. EST)
The latest data from Mission Control shows the upcoming deorbit burn ignition time will be 10:52:04 a.m. EST. The twin braking rockets will fire for 2 minutes and 27 seconds, slowing the shuttle by about 200 mph, just enough to slip out of orbit.

Once in range of the Kennedy Space Center, commander Steve Lindsey will perform a 250-degree left overhead turn to align with Runway 15 for touchdown at 11:57 a.m. EST.

The total mission duration will be 12 days, 19 hours and 4 minutes.

1335 GMT (8:35 a.m. EST)
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1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. EST)
Discovery is maneuvering into a new orientation in space to improve the communications link with NASA's orbiting data relay satellite network.
1321 GMT (8:21 a.m. EST)
Mission Control has given the crew a "go" to transition the onboard computers from the OPS-2 software used during the shuttle's stay in space to OPS-3, which is the software package that governs entry and landing.
1320 GMT (8:20 a.m. EST)
Space shuttle Discovery's 60-foot-long payload bay doors have been closed and locked in preparation for today's descent into Earth's atmosphere and landing at Kennedy Space Center. The deorbit burn remains scheduled for 10:52 a.m., with touchdown at 11:57 a.m. EST (1657 GMT).
1319 GMT (8:19 a.m. EST)
Now the center-line latches are engaging.
1317 GMT (8:17 a.m. EST)
The starboard-side door is driving.
1315 GMT (8:15 a.m. EST)
The port-side door is swinging shut.
1306 GMT (8:06 a.m. EST)
Mission Control has given the "go" to the astronauts for payload bay door closing.

The crew just completed the steps to bypass the shuttle's radiators on the insides of the payload bay doors and checked out of the ship's flash evaporator cooling system for entry.
1257 GMT (7:57 a.m. EST)
Now four hours from touchdown. Closure of the payload bay doors coming up next.
1247 GMT (7:47 a.m. EST)
The weather reconnaissance pilot today is astronaut Rick Sturckow. He's just made his initial run around the Kennedy Space Center area this morning.

CAPCOM Charlie Hobaugh just radioed observations up to commander Steve Lindsey:

"The weather is looking very favorable at KSC right now as far as ceilings and visibility. The winds were about half of what is forecast. So KSC is shaping up pretty good for the first opportunity."
1240 GMT (7:40 a.m. EST)
A check of the middeck cargo and science sample freezers was performed a little while ago. Now the final payload deactivation is getting underway.
1223 GMT (7:23 a.m. EST)
The crew just completed verification that the various cockpit switches are in the proper positions for entry.
1215 GMT (7:15 a.m. EST)
With no technical problems and windy but acceptable weather expected, the Discovery astronauts are preparing the veteran spaceplane for its 39th and final re-entry today to close out an extended space station assembly mission.

Read our morning story.
1202 GMT (7:02 a.m. EST)
Good morning from the Kennedy Space Center where the weather is spectacular. The sun is rising into a clear sky, winds are in check and temperatures are warm. Up in orbit, the Discovery astronauts are putting away the completed flight plan and opening the deorbit preparation checklists.
1114 GMT (6:14 a.m. EST)
"Right now, the weather looks great," CAPCOM Charlie Hobaugh just told the crew. The wind forecast predicts a 10-knot crosswind and a 21-knot headwind for Discovery landing on Runway 15.
1105 GMT (6:06 a.m. EST)
Commander Steve Lindsey is performing an alignment of Discovery's inertial measurement units in the ship's guidance system.
1040 GMT (5:40 a.m. EST)
The latest weather forecast just issued by the Spaceflight Meteorology Group for today's landing calls for scattered clouds at 3,000 and 20,000 feet, good visibility and southeasterly winds from 130 degrees at 15 peaking to 23 knots. Those conditions are acceptable and within the limits of the landing weather rules despite the seemingly strong winds, which will be blowing down the runway.
1015 GMT (5:15 a.m. EST)
The entry team of flight controllers has arrived inside Mission Control. Overseeing today's return of Discovery is Tony Ceccacci, a veteran flight director of several shuttle missions. Seated alongside in Houston in direct radio contact with the shuttle crew is CAPCOM astronaut Charlie Hobaugh, a previous shuttle pilot and commander.
0945 GMT (4:45 a.m. EST)
Here's a look at the timeline for today's first landing opportunity:

Rev. 202 deorbit to KSC
Deorbit dT: 02:36
Deorbit dV: 194 mph


06:52 AM......Begin deorbit timeline
07:07 AM......Radiator stow
07:17 AM......Astronaut seat installation
07:23 AM......Computers set for deorbit prep
07:27 AM......Hydraulic system configuration
07:52 AM......Flash evaporator cooling system checks
07:58 AM......Final payload deactivation
08:12 AM......Payload bay doors closed
08:22 AM......Mission control 'go' for OPS-3
08:32 AM......OPS-3 transition
08:57 AM......Entry switchlist verification
09:07 AM......Deorbit PAD update
09:12 AM......Crew entry review
09:27 AM......Commander/pilot don entry suits
09:44 AM......Inertial measurement unit alignment
09:52 AM......Commander/pilot strap in; others suit up
10:09 AM......Shuttle steering check
10:12 AM......Hydraulic system prestart
10:19 AM......Toilet deactivation

10:32 AM......Mission control center 'go' for deorbit burn
10:38 AM......Mission specialists seat ingress
10:47 AM......Single APU start
10:52:09 AM...Deorbit ignition
10:54:40 AM...Deorbit burn complete

11:25:57 AM...Entry interface
11:30:48 AM...1st roll command to right
11:38:04 AM...1st roll right to left
12:44:00 AM...C-band radar acquisition
11:51:11 AM...Velocity less than mach 2.5
11:53:23 AM...Velocity less than mach 1
11:54:13 AM...Right turn to runway 15
11:57:44 AM...Landing
0823 GMT (3:23 a.m. EST)
The astronauts just woke up to get shuttle Discovery's landing day underway and bring the ship home for the final time.

The crew has a couple of hours to eat breakfast and go about their morning routine before beginning the deorbit preparation timeline at 6:53 a.m. EST.

The ship's 60-foot-long payload bay doors are scheduled to be closed at 8:12 a.m., followed by the transition of onboard computers to the software for entry and the crew donning its spacesuits.

A final decision whether to land on time will come around 10:30 a.m., leading to ignition of Discovery's braking rockets at 10:52 a.m. for two-and-a-half minutes to start the trek home. The shuttle hits the upper atmosphere at 11:25 a.m.

Landing at the Kennedy Space Center is scheduled for 11:57 a.m. EST, weather permitting.

Forecasters are predicting windy but acceptable Florida weather for the shuttle Discovery's return to Earth Wednesday and with virtually no technical problems of any significance, entry Flight Director Tony Ceccacci said "we feel pretty comfortable" about getting the orbiter home on time from its 39th and final flight.

Read our full story.
2130 GMT (4:30 p.m. EST)
The Ku-band antenna assembly - used for high-speed communications and television downlink - has retracted back into the payload bay, clearing the way for the doors to be closed Wednesday morning for landing.
1845 GMT (1:45 p.m. EST)
On the eve of returning to Earth Wednesday to close out the shuttle Discovery's 39th and final flight, the ship's crew said the nation should be proud of the shuttle program's accomplishments, but expressed concern that a replacement vehicle is not waiting in the wings to replace it.

Read our full story.
1621 GMT (11:21 a.m. EST)
Space shuttle Discovery's heat shield has been cleared for re-entry by the Mission Management Team, CAPCOM Charlie Hobaugh just told the astronauts. Yesterday's inspections of the wing leading edges and nose cap showed no concerns for any space debris impacts that could have occurred during the flight.

"Hey, Discovery, Houston. Just got an update from the MMT that they have reviewed your late inspection information, all that data that came down, and you are 'go' for entry. They found nothing of significance," Hobaugh radioed.
1140 GMT (6:40 a.m. EST)
The weather at Kennedy Space Center for tomorrow's landing continues to look favorable. The outlook includes scattered clouds at 3,000 and 20,000 feet, seven miles of visibility, southeasterly winds from 120 degrees of 15 peaking to 21 knots.

The forecast for Thursday isn't as good, as a frontal system moves into Florida and brings a chance of showers and thunderstorms around the runway.
1132 GMT (6:32 a.m. EST)
The hot-fire test has been accomplished with no problems reported.
1121 GMT (6:21 a.m. EST)
The flight control system checkout went well. The astronauts are getting ready to perform the reaction control system hot-fire. The thrusters on the nose and tail of the shuttle will be pulsed as part of the continuing entry and landing checks for tomorrow's homecoming by Discovery.
1050 GMT (5:50 a.m. EST)
The astronauts are checking out the onboard suite of sensors and navigation devices. Upcoming on the list of activities will be checking the entry-critical switches in the cockpit, testing the nose wheel steering system and evaluating the heads-up displays used during landing.
1044 GMT (5:44 a.m. EST)
The crew has successfully completed this part of the flight control system checkout, starting up one of the Auxiliary Power Units for the orbiter's hydraulics and moving the aerosurfaces through a planned test pattern.
1038 GMT (5:38 a.m. EST)
Auxiliary Power Unit No. 1 has been fired up for the flight control system checkout.
1005 GMT (5:05 a.m. EST)
In a first for mission control and a shuttle crew, the Discovery astronauts were awakened Tuesday with a live performance of "Blue Sky" by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, a tune inspired by the first post-Columbia mission. The song won the most votes in a NASA "Top 40" competition giving the public an opportunity to select the crew's wakeup music.

Read our full story.
0830 GMT (3:30 a.m. EST)
Discovery's astronauts have awakened to begin their final full day in space to prepare for their landing around mid-day tomorrow at the Kennedy Space Center.

Today will be spent testing the ship's reaction control system and aerosurfaces for entry and landing, stowing away equipment for the homecoming and holding one more round of live media interviews.

There will be back-to-back orbits available on Wednesday for Discovery to fire its braking rockets and re-enter the atmosphere for touchdown in Florida at 11:57 a.m. and 1:34 p.m. EST.

Read our earlier status center coverage.