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If you hear a ka-BOOM! Saturday a.m., it's the shuttle landing at Edwards

Posted: May 22, 2009 2:41 p.m.
Updated: May 22, 2009 3:00 p.m.
The Space Shuttle Atlantis is now scheduled to land Saturday morning, May 23, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to conclude mission STS-125, the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

However, poor weather conditions along the eastern coast of Florida have raised the likelihood of Atlantis ending its mission at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California.

Both locations have been called up to support a possible space shuttle landing.

Should mission managers decide to have the shuttle Atlantis land at Edwards, a strong sonic boom could be generated along the shuttle's route of descent along the California coastline about five to 10 minutes before landing.

The area that might be affected by a sonic boom could extend over a wide area from just north of Los Angeles to south of San Luis Obispo, and then inland over portions of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and Kern Counties until the shuttle decelerates to subsonic speed over Edwards.

Landing opportunities Saturday at Edwards are at 7:47 a.m. and 9:25 a.m., both times Pacific. A final decision on whether to have the shuttle land at Kennedy or Edwards is not expected until early Saturday morning.

Officials at Edwards Air Force Base have advised that the Rogers Dry Lake east shore viewing site for space shuttle landings, as well as the base itself, will NOT be open to the public this weekend, due to the unavailability of Air Force security personnel to provide traffic and crowd control at the site.

For further information, contact the NASA Dryden public affairs office at 661-276-3449.


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