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STS-108 Mission Status Report #22

Submitted by Arthur N1ORC

STS-108    Report # 22 
 Sunday, Dec. 16, 2001 – 6 a.m. CST 
 On board Endeavour today, the crew will focus its efforts on checking
out the systems and equipment that will be used during Endeavour’s
planned reentry and landing Monday. 

Endeavour is scheduled to return to the Kennedy Space Center about 11:55
a.m. CST tomorrow, weather permitting.  Preliminary weather forecasts
predict generally acceptable conditions at the landing site, with a
chance of rain showers in the vicinity.  Entry Flight Director Leroy Cain
and his team of flight controllers will oversee the crew’s checkout of
flight control systems and surfaces this morning from Mission Control.
They also will receive updated weather forecasts for Monday’s planned

On what should be their final full day in space, Endeavour’s crew –
Commander Dom Gorie, Pilot Mark Kelly, Mission Specialists Linda Godwin
and Dan Tani, along with the returning Expedition Three crewmembers Frank
Culbertson, Vladimir Dezhurov and Mikhail Tyurin – were awakened at 3:14
a.m. by the song “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” sung by Bing Crosby. 

About 9 a.m. today, Endeavour’s crew will deploy a small satellite called
STARSHINE 2 from a canister located in the payload bay. More than 30,000
students from 660 schools in 26 countries will track STARSHINE 2 as it
orbits the Earth for eight months. The students, who helped polish
STARSHINE’S 845 mirrors, will use the information they collect to
calculate the density of the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Endeavour’s middeck will carry home the results of several experiments
completed during Expedition Three’s stay on the station. These include
the Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility, the Dynamically Controlled
Protein Crystal Growth experiment and cells from the Cellular
Biotechnology Operations Support System (CBOSS). The CBOSS equipment
aboard the space station will remain active during Expedition Four,
growing ovarian and colon cancer cells, as well as kidney cells in

Experiments in Endeavour’s payload bay also will be coming home, to be
returned to investigators around the world.  The Multiple Application
Customized Hitchhiker-1 (MACH-1) is carrying a wide array of experiments,
including the Prototype Synchrotron Radiation Detector, the Collisions
Into Dust Experiment-2, the Capillary Pump Loop, and the Space Experiment
Module (SEM). The SEM is carrying experiments from Argentina, Portugal,
Morocco and Australia, as well experiments from U.S. schoolchildren.
Several other canisters in Endeavour’s payload bay are also carrying
student experiments. 

The next Mission Control status report will be issued about 6 p.m. CST
today or as events warrant.

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