Southern California BB readers, here's your evening forecast: breezy with a chance of BEWMMMM! Expect a large sonic boom between 530-555pm PDT this evening if you're in one of the colored areas in the map embedded at left (click to see large size).
The so-called "deorbit burn" is scheduled to begin at 4:47 p.m. PDT for a 5:53 p.m. landing at Edwards in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, according to details published on NASA's website. The second opportunity for leaving orbit will come at 6:23 p.m., ending with a landing at 7:28 p.m.The mission to deliver supplies and equipment to the International Space Station lasted 2 weeks and spanned 5.7 million miles. More: LA Times, NASA "Landing Blog."
Wooo! The deorbit burn is beginning as I type this blog post. Snip:
Discovery's orbital maneuvering system engines are firing now. This two-minute, 35-second deorbit burn will slow the orbiter's forward speed by about 267 feet per second, enough to begin its descent through the atmosphere.
Update: Sonic boom + unsuspecting dog = the video below (via @caseymckinnon via @georgeruiz).