Now separated from the International Space Station by about 1,600 statute miles and moving away by about 155 miles with each orbit of the Earth, Endeavour crewmembers turn their attention today to preparing for a return trip home.
Commander Ken Cockrell, Pilot Paul Lockhart, Mission Specialists Franklin Chang-Diaz and Philippe Perrin, and returning Expedition 4 crewmembers Yury Onufrienko, Carl Walz and Dan Bursch were awakened at 3:23 a.m. to "Where My Heart Will Take Me," the theme song from Star Trek: Enterprise, performed by Russell Watson.
Today, Cockrell, Lockhart and Chang-Diaz will test the reaction control system jets and flight control surfaces that will be used to guide Endeavour through the atmosphere Monday morning. Onufrienko, Walz, Bursch and Perrin will install their seats for re-entry on Endeavour's middeck. Perrin will help the Expedition 4 crewmembers into their seats Monday. Endeavour is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center in Florida Monday at 11:59 a.m. CDT.
Onufrienko, Walz and Bursch are coming back to Earth after 181 days aboard the International Space Station. If Endeavour lands on time, Walz and Bursch will set a new record of U.S. spaceflight endurance with 194 days in orbit. Astronaut Shannon Lucid held the previous record of 188 days, set on her mission to Mir in 1996.
The Expedition 4 crew will talk with media representatives from the Fox News Network and TV stations in Ohio and New York in a news conference beginning at 12:38 p.m.
Cockrell and Lockhart will fire Endeavour's orbital maneuvering system engines for 10 seconds today to allow sensors to observe the plume created by the burn to help improve models on the ground.
On board the space station, the Expedition 5 crew - Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev - was awakened at 1 a.m. The crew is unpacking and settling into its new home, preparing for a 4½-month stay in orbit.
The crew of Endeavour will begin a scheduled eight-hour sleep period at 7:23 p.m. today. They are to be awakened just before 3:30 a.m. Monday to prepare for re-entry and landing of Endeavour, concluding a successful mission to the station.
The next STS-111 status report will be issued Sunday evening, or earlier if events warrant.
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