Thursday, November 26, 2009

Atlantis heat shields cleared for landing

Space shuttle Atlantis' heat shields have been cleared for Friday morning's planned fiery re-entry through Earth's atmosphere.

The shuttle and seven astronauts are targeting a 9:44 a.m. EST landing at Kennedy Space Center, the first of two opportunities Friday. The second would come after one more orbit, at 11:19 a.m.

NASA astronaut Megan McArthur delivered the news to Atlantis commander Charlie Hobaugh.

"That's great news," Hobaugh replied.

The report came after analysts in Houston reviewed images produced during Wednesday's final heat shield inspection, hours after Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station.

At 11:30 a.m., Bryan Lunney, the entry flight director, will provide an update on plans for the landing.

Click here to open a NASA TV video player and watch the event live.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Once again the Shuttle is flying better (and more safely) than it ever has. And we are about to throw it all away. We will never see anything as capable, in our lifetimes. Can anybody get NASA to reveal the actual calculations behind the Probability Risk Assessment Number? There have been 129 flights. How an there be a 1% risk of loss of crew when the problems which caused the losses of Challenger and Columbia were corrected?