Crew in Florida, Launch Set for Tuesday
The Shuttle Training Aircraft carrying the STS-120 astronauts touched down at 1:18 p.m. EDT on the Shuttle Landing Facility runway at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
"There's something special about showing up in Florida," said Commander Pam Melroy. "There's a time when you need to talk, and the Flight Readiness Review was a time to talk. Then there's a time when you need to go do it. And I'm happy to say we're really here, and ready to go do it."
Melroy said she and her crew are "totally confident" that Discovery's reinforced carbon-carbon heat shield is capable of protecting them on the ride home.
The crew's arrival follows the detailed flight readiness review on Tuesday, after which NASA senior managers announced Oct. 23 as the official launch date. Discovery is scheduled to lift off at 11:38 a.m. EDT on its mission to the International Space Station.
The 14-day mission includes five spacewalks – four by shuttle crew members and one by the station’s Expedition 16 crew. Discovery is expected to complete its mission and return home at 4:47 a.m. EST on Nov. 6.
Looking ahead to launch-day weather, there is a 40% probability that weather could prohibit liftoff.