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STS-118 Set to Return Home Today


*STS-118 Set to Return Home Today*

Space Shuttle Endeavour and the STS-118 crew are scheduled to return 
home today, ending a successful assembly mission to the International 
Space Station. Landing is scheduled for 12:32 p.m. EDT(1632 UTC) at 
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The seven astronauts will make final preparations this morning for 
landing. The payload bay doors are scheduled to be closed at 8:45 
a.m.(1245 UTC) If flight controllers decide to press ahead with landing, 
Commander Scott Kelly and Pilot Charles Hobaugh will fire Endeavourís 
engines at 11:25 a.m.(1525 UTC) to begin the descent to Kennedy.

If flight controllers choose to pass on the first opportunity a second 
one is available at the Florida spaceport. It calls for touchdown at 
2:06 p.m., (1806 UTC)with the deorbit burn at 1 p.m.(1700 UTC) White 
Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico will not be called up today as a 
possible site. Edwards AFB, Calif., will be staffed, but is not expected 
to be used.

+ View STS-118 landing ground tracks 

Weather forecasts at Kennedy generally are favorable.

While at the station, the STS-118 crew continued the on-orbit 
construction with the addition of the Starboard 5 truss and conducted 
joint operations with the Expedition 15 crew. The crew conducted four 
spacewalks, which included the S5 installation and replacement of an 
attitude control gyroscope. The two crews also transferred several tons 
of cargo between the two spacecraft.

Landing will also bring to an end the first flight for Mission 
Specialist Barbara Morgan, an educator who was selected to become a 
mission specialist astronaut. She was first selected by NASA in 1985 as 
the backup to Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe.

Following the Challenger accident in 1986, Morgan continued to work with 
NASA on educational activities and returned to teaching elementary 
school in Idaho. She returned to NASA as an astronaut in 1998.

*Hurricane Dean Information*
On-orbit Hurricane Dean Video: + Real Video 
| + Windows Media 
+ NASA Hurricane Resource Page 
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