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Fw: NASA HSF News Digest V1 #25





Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

	STS-109 Mission Status Report #23


Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 04:27:01 -0600 (CST)
From: info@jsc.nasa.gov
Subject: STS-109 Mission Status Report #23

STS-109
Report # 23 
 Tuesday, March 12, 2002 - 4 a.m. CST 
 
 The space shuttle Columbia landed at Kennedy Space Center early Tuesday
after a 10-day, 22-hour and 10-minute mission to upgrade the Hubble Space
Telescope.  Columbia astronauts conducted five successful spacewalks
during their STS-109 mission to improve the orbiting observatory.

Columbia's main landing gear touched down at 3:32 a.m. CST, completing a
mission that covered 3,941,705 statue miles.  

Commander Scott Altman, Pilot Duane Carey, and Mission Specialist/Flight
Engineer Nancy Currie brought Columbia smoothly back to Earth.  They
fired the shuttle's orbital maneuvering system engines at 2:23 a.m.,
while Columbia was over the Indian Ocean, to begin their descent from
orbit.

Their ground track took them across the Pacific Ocean and the coast of
Baja California, then on an almost due east heading across the southern
United States.  The plasma trail of the orbiter was visible as it passed
over Houston to some flight controllers at Houston's Mission Control
Center who took a moment to go outside and watch it move quickly across
the northern sky.

Florida weather remained good for the landing, thought there had been
some concern earlier in the day about formation of ground fog.  It did
not materialize, and Columbia landed right on time.

Mission Specialists John Grunsfeld, Jim Newman, Rick Linnehan and Mike
Massimino completed the five spacewalks, working in teams of two on
alternate days.  They gave the Hubble new solar arrays, an advanced new
camera and installed a cooling system to revive another instrument.  They
also installed a new power control unit to route electricity from the
arrays to batteries and instruments, and a new reaction wheel assembly to
help point the telescope.

Tuesday's landing was the 58th for a shuttle at Kennedy Space Center and
the 14th night landing there.  Five other missions have ended with night
landings at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

- --end--








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