Friday, June 22, 2007

STS-117 Landing Today

Gulfstream aircraft have just taken off at EDW and KSC to evaluate weather by shooting approaches to the runways. The first landing opportunity at KSC was waved off, now there is an orbit allowing either depending on when the deorbit burn is done. Landing would be around 1945 UTC in either case.

[EDIT 1752 UTC:]

The decision has just been made to go to Edwards AFB on the desert northeast of Los Angeles. The shuttle will come from almost due south, and the loudest sonic booms will be in San Diego and east of L.A.. Landing is on EDW runway 22 at 1949 UTC.

[UPDATE #2 1819 UTC:]

NASA's WB-57F aircraft (NASA 928) has been heard making patches on HF. It is a high-altitude research plane with various missions. It is used on shuttle missions for photo-recon of the descending spacecraft.