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STS-121 MCC Status Report #24



2:30 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 16, 2006
Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas


STS-121 MCC Status Report #24

The Space Shuttle Discovery crew is scheduled for their last full day in 
space today, as they make their final preparations for deorbit and 
landing tomorrow.

Their day began at 12:18 a.m. with “Just Like Heaven,” by The Cure for 
Mission Specialist Piers Sellers. It was requested by his family.

At 3 a.m., Shuttle Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Mark Kelly and Entry 
Flight Engineer Lisa Nowak will do an hour-long flight control system 
checkout and fire the reaction control system jets. The checkout will 
let managers further assess the performance of one of the auxiliary 
power units. The APUs power flight control surfaces. Specialists had 
detected a small leak in the APU but have determined it is likely a 
nitrogen gas leak and should not affect re-entry.

Throughout the day, most of the crew members, including Mission 
Specialists Mike Fossum and Stephanie Wilson, will work on final clean 
up and stowage of the vehicle cabin area. All crew members will 
participate in a deorbit briefing with the ground team as part of their 
final preparation for landing.

At 11:03 a.m. CDT, the STS-121 crew will participate in interviews with 
major television networks, including, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and NBC. That 
event will be televised on NASA television.

Mission managers continue to analyze images from the post-undocking 
inspection of Discovery's port wing and nose cone. Initial analysis 
indicated nothing amiss. A decision on whether to clear Discovery for 
landing is expected later today.

Discovery's deorbit burn is scheduled for 7:07 a.m. Monday, for an 8:14 
a.m. CDT landing at Kennedy Space Center. A second opportunity would see 
a deorbit engine firing at 8:43 a.m. for a landing at 9:50 a.m.

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 13 Commander Pavel 
Vinogradov and Flight Engineers Jeff Williams and Thomas Reiter are 
enjoying an off-duty day after the intense activity during Discovery 
docked operations.

The next STS-121 status report will be issued Sunday evening or earlier 
if events warrant.
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