STS-103, Mission Control Center
Status Report # 14
Sunday, December 26, 1999 - 8 a.m. CST

With their primary mission objectives successfully completed, Discovery's astronauts
today begin preparing their spacecraft for its scheduled return to Earth Monday,
checking out the flight control system and reaction control jets that support re-entry.

The seven astronauts were awakened at 7:50 a.m. to the song “We’re So Good
Together” by Reba McEntyre, played for Pilot Scott Kelly at the request of his wife.

This afternoon, Commander Curt Brown and Kelly will check out Discovery's flight
control systems and surfaces to support Monday’s planned return to the Kennedy
Space Center. Later in the day, the astronauts will begin stowing the equipment
they've used during the past week on orbit and start buttoning up Discovery’s
on-orbit systems. The Ku-band antenna, which provides most of the capacity for data
and television relay, will be stowed around 8:45 p.m. today.

As the STS-103 mission winds down, the newly refurbished Hubble Space Telescope
slowly moves through its checkout sequence prior to resuming science operations.
Discovery's four space-walking astronauts spent 24 hours and 33 minutes upgrading
and refurbishing the orbiting observatory, making it more capable than ever to renew
its observations of the universe.

Hubble was released from the end of Discovery’s robot arm at 5:03 p.m. Christmas
Day. Less than half an hour later, controllers at the Space Telescope Operations
Control Center in Maryland reported that the telescope was in normal operating
mode. Controllers will perform two weeks of testing before observations resume. At
8 a.m. today, Hubble was approximately 45 miles away from Discovery and
separating at the rate of about five miles per 90-minute orbit.

Also on tap at 10:50 a.m. today is the crew in-flight press conference with media at
NASA Centers in the U.S. and reporters at European Space Agency sites in Geneva
and Paris.

The next status report will be issued at 8 p.m. Sunday or as events warrant.


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