Space shuttle Atlantis was scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Centre today. The first attempt on orbit 202 at 1:55pm EDT and the second attempt on orbit 203 at 3:30pm EDT have both been waved-off due to bad weather above the shuttle landing facility.
There will be four opportunities tomorrow: two at Kennedy (orbit 218 @ 2:16pm and orbit 219 @ 3:51pm EDT) and two at Edwards Air Force Base in California (orbit 220 @ 5:21pm and orbit 221 @ 6:56pm). For those in Europe, that’s 20:16, 21:51, 23:21 and 0:56 CET. There are also opportunities available on Saturday.
Kennedy is the preferred landing site for several reasons. If the shuttle lands at Edwards, it needs to go on a piggyback ride on top of a Boeing 747 to bring it back to Kennedy. That flight can only happen when the weather is good and even then it’s still a big risk. Such a flight is not only risky, but also expensive. Landing at Edwards also means it’ll take longer before the post-flight processing can begin. To summarise, landing at Kennedy is less risky, cheaper and faster to get the orbiter back in ready state.
The fans and the curious can watch the landing on NASA TV.