Endeavour (STS-130) Returns to Earth – Updated

Posted by Lydia on February 19th, 2010

STS130 returnsLatest Update: We welcome home Endeavour after a successful 5.7 million mile mission. It was the 130th shuttle mission and Endeavour’s 10th trip to the ISS complex. This was an outstanding mission which successfully installed the Tranquility Mode and “opened up the ISS Cupula’s windows to the world”.  Houston will welcome the crew home on Monday at 1600 at Ellington Field’s NASA Hangar 990.

Update (2015): De-orbit burn is complete and touch down is in an hour on Runway 15. Preparations have been underway since yesterday to receive Endeavour, which included sweeping the runway. Mission Control Houston continues to monitor Endeavour’s systems and maintains continuous conversation with the crew. At this time Endeavour is travelling about 25 times the speed of sound with temperature around the outside of the craft reaching 2500 degrees F . Endeavour is definitely in the “Flying Brick” stage of its journey home. Entry path takes the Shuttle over the Pacific Ocean, through Central America and along the Yucatan Peninsula then across the eastern tip of Cuba and into  south Florida. We anxiously await the first sight of the Shuttle and its safe return home.

Update (1951): Cargo bay doors are secure, everything is checked out and the astronauts of Endeavour  (STS-130) are all suited up and situated. Looks like the weather is holding for a KSC landing, and so it is “Go for De-Orbit Burn!” De-orbit burn will begin in 23 minutes. This will be the 23rd night landing at KSC for the Shuttle programme.

Update (1732): Endeavour has been advised to close payload bay doors. All systems are performing well and the order “Go” has been issued. Weather is still being monitored around the landing facility (30 nautical mile radius.)

(All update times CST)

Endeavour (Mission STS-130) is going through all the checks and preparing to return to Earth this evening.

If Florida weather is uncooperative (there is extensive cloud cover and rain showers in the area) and the launding programmed for 22:20 EST is delayed there is a second landing opportunity at 23:55,  and if that doesn’t work out, there are two opportunities at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Monday morning at 01:25 and 03:00.

Space shuttle Endeavour’s two-week visit to the International Space Station is coming to an end. Undocking takes place at 19:54 p.m. EST tonight. Endeavour will make a nighttime landing at Kennedy Space Center Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 22:16 EST (weather permitting), with the de-orbit burn planned for 21:13 p.m. Sunday. You may wish to check out “Simple Satellite Tracker”  to see if you are one of the fortunate earthlings situated in the exact spot to catch both spaceships traveling side by side through your area’s night sky. And if you have an iPhone: “there is an App for that” that is now globally accessible! Ah, yes, we are lucky indeed!

You can also follow the STS-130 return to earth on Facebook and Twitter.

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