OK, this is what you’ve all been waiting for. Your experiments are currently scheduled to return to Earth on Endeavour at 2:35 am EDT, Wednesday, June 1, 2011. ITA is now ready to receive the payload at the NASA Space Life Sciences (SLS) Lab at KSC, and begin harvesting operations.
NASA informed ITA to expect to receive the payload about 4 hours after landing, which means the payload will likely be at the Lab by 7:00 am. Also starting about 7:00 am, you can watch harvesting live from the SLS Lab on the SSEP Video Coverage of STS-134 page. You can also watch NASA TV on this page.
ITA is expecting to harvest all samples tomorrow, June 1. FedEx is scheduled to pick up packages at the lab between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm EDT tomorrow (June 1). All packages that are ready at time of pick up have the ability to arrive at their destination (your site) the following day, June 2. In addition, any samples that were not harvested and packaged by the time of pick up, but that ITA can hand-carry to FedEx in Cocoa, FL, by 6:30 pm, still have the ability to arrive at their destination the following day, June 2. Any packages not to FedEx by 6:30 pm on June 1 will go out via FedEx the following day, June 2, with arrival expected on June 3.
Landing Contingency due to Crosswinds
NASA informed Nanoracks yesterday that Endeavour is a go for landing at Kennedy Space Center, though they are monitoring crosswinds at the Cape. If the landing scheduled for 2:35 am June 1 is aborted due to crosswinds, Endeavour will make another attempt at KSC the following day. After two attempts, the current contingency is a landing at Edwards AFB in California, and NanoRacks has a staffer on stand-by ready to fly to Edwards to receive the payload. If Endeavour lands at Edwards, we are expecting upwards of a 28 hour additional delay before harvesting can begin.
TO ALL TEAMS – Be Prepared to Receive Your Samples
Each student flight experiment team should now be fully prepared to receive their experiment samples and conduct their analysis and/or post-flight procedures. A number of teams are using analytical resources and equipment at local area research laboratories. We urge you to make sure the lab facilities are standing by to receive your samples AND your team.
(Pretty cool huh)
The SSEP on-orbit research opportunity is enabled through NanoRacks LLC, which is working in partnership with NASA under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the International Space Station as a National Laboratory.