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  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  Discovery is home

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Author Topic:   Discovery is home
contra
Member

Posts: 299
From: Kiel, Germany
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 07-17-2006 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for contra   Click Here to Email contra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spaceflightnow.com

"Discovery is home
Weather creates drama"

Space shuttle Discovery touched down at 9:14 a.m. EDT on Kennedy Space Center's Runway 15, breaking through clouds covering the Florida spaceport on final approach. The crew had to change runways late in the descent due to dramatically developing weather in the path to the original runway selection

KSCartist
Member

Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-17-2006 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Others will provide pictures and more details, but let me say how great it was to hear and feel the twin sonic booms again after 31/2 years.

Discovery is home where she belongs -next up
Atlantis ! To quote Scott Kelly: "We're back baby!!"

Tim

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2006 09:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can think of no better way to start a Monday...

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited July 17, 2006).]

Moonwalker1954
Member

Posts: 236
From: Montreal, Canada
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 07-17-2006 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anybody noticed the brownish (burnt?) side of Discovery starting from about the hatch? Isn't that unusual?

Pierre-Yves

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2006 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moonwalker1954:
Anybody noticed the brownish (burnt?) side of Discovery starting from about the hatch? Isn't that unusual?
I seem to recall (and a quick browse through NASA's image galleries seems to confirm) that the discoloring in that area is not that unusual.

Then there is the post-landing comment of STS-121 Commander Steven Lindsey: "This is my fourth flight and I've done four walkarounds and I've never seen a vehicle that looked as clean as this one did — we had very few problems."

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited July 17, 2006).]

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-17-2006 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
quote:
NASA Welcomes Space Shuttle Crew Back to Earth

The Space Shuttle Discovery and its crew are home after a 13-day, five million-mile journey in space. The mission, STS-121, succeeded in testing shuttle safety improvements, repairing a rail car on the International Space Station and producing never-before-seen, high-resolution images of the shuttle during and after its July 4th launch.

Discovery's Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Mark Kelly and mission specialists Mike Fossum, Piers Sellers, Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson landed Monday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 9:14 a.m. EDT.

Following landing, Lindsey and his crew did the traditional walk around, post-landing inspection of the shuttle. "I have been on four flights, and this is the cleanest vehicle I've ever seen," said Lindsey. "We had two major objectives and we accomplished both of those, and we're ready to assemble the space station."

NASA's Space Shuttle Program managers also were pleased with Discovery's performance. The flight verified the safety of the biggest aerodynamic change to the external fuel tank in shuttle history. The protuberance air load ramps were removed after a piece of foam came off this area during Discovery's flight last year.

STS-121 is the most photographed shuttle mission ever, with more than 100 high definition, digital, video and film cameras documenting the launch and climb to orbit. Data from these images helped assess whether the orbiter sustained any damage and whether that damage posed any risk to Discovery's return to Earth.

The STS-121 mission also bolstered the International Space Station. Fossum and Sellers, with the help of crewmates, completed three spacewalks. The third spacewalk was confirmed after mission managers determined there was enough electrical power to add another day to the flight.

The astronauts tested the shuttle's 50-foot robotic arm boom extension as a work platform. They removed and replaced a cable that provides power, command and data and video connections to the station's mobile transporter rail car. The transporter is used to move a platform containing the station's robotic arm along the truss of the complex. During the third spacewalk, the astronauts tested techniques for inspecting and repairing the reinforced carbon-carbon segments that protect the shuttle's nose cone and leading edge of the wings.

Discovery delivered more than 28,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to the station, as well as a third crew member. European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter joined Russian Pavel Vinogradov and American Jeff Williams. This marks the first time since May 2003 that the station crew has three members.

President George W. Bush called the astronauts to congratulate them on a successful mission and to thank them for their work to further America's Vision for Space Exploration. The vision calls for NASA to return humans to the moon, and then venture to Mars and beyond.

Texas Governor Rick Perry also made a call during the mission to fellow Texas A&M University graduate Fossum.

With Discovery and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the resumption of International Space Station assembly. Preparations continue for Space Shuttle Atlantis' launch targeted for late August/early September for the STS-115 mission to deliver additional truss segments to the station. Atlantis is expected to be moved to the launch pad early next month, and NASA managers plan to meet shortly thereafter to clear the shuttle for its first mission since October 2002.


John McGauley
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Posts: 144
From: Fort Wayne, Indiana USA
Registered: May 2001

posted 07-17-2006 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John McGauley   Click Here to Email John McGauley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just curious, but was the overcast really as thick as it looks? Through the HUD camera on the way down and in every picture I've seen, the weather looked iffy. Did the conditions deteriorate that much after deorbit?

HouseDadX4
unregistered
posted 07-17-2006 01:24 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I can think of no better way to start a Monday...

I totally agree Robert..This was an excellent way for this here family to start off this week, as it marks the beginning of our transition to the Houston area from Oklahoma. Anybody wanna help me unload a moving truck on Thursday morning??

[This message has been edited by HouseDadX4 (edited July 17, 2006).]

Ben
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Posts: 1843
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 07-17-2006 01:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by John McGauley:
Just curious, but was the overcast really as thick as it looks?
It was 100% overcast over the whole area from long before the burn through touchdown, pretty thick in some areas too.

Had they landed at 10:50 it was almost totally clear and blue skies :-)

Some 'ok' photos spoiled when they switched to 15, which was much farther away:
http://www.launchphotography.com/STS-121_landing.html

[This message has been edited by collectSPACE Admin (edited July 17, 2006).]

capoetc
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Posts: 1705
From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 07-17-2006 03:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben -

I noticed the following comment on your pictures page (thanks for posting them!):

"These photos were taken from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building, 525 feet above the ground."

Do you work at KSC? What an incredible vantage point that must be from up there!

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

EDIT: Before I hit the "send" key, I could have checked Ben's profile ... so, a follow on question for Ben: Are you able to get a photographer's pass to go on top of the VAB?

[This message has been edited by capoetc (edited July 17, 2006).]

Ben
Member

Posts: 1843
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 07-17-2006 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John, thanks. For most of the big events (launch, landing) there are alternate viewing spots that the press can view from including the VAB roof. Space is limited though, and it can be hard to get to some; it's more of a first come first serve basis, though the big guys like AP, Reuters and the local papers always have the option first. Others are sort of 'first come based on how many they can take' after that from what I have seen.

For landing, this spot would have been perfect for runway 33 but we lucked out at the last minute :-(

Tom
Member

Posts: 1275
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 07-17-2006 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ben:
Great photos of todays landing. That sure is a different perspective.

OV-105
Member

Posts: 589
From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 07-18-2006 07:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moonwalker1954:
Anybody noticed the brownish (burnt?) side of Discovery starting from about the hatch? Isn't that unusual?

Pierre-Yves


I thought the same thing too. I just look at some pics of Discovery at launch and it was not that bad. I remeber a flight or two of Challenger (41-G & 61-A?) that came back like that. I think it had been from the dump of the FWD RCS fuel.

Moonwalker1954
Member

Posts: 236
From: Montreal, Canada
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 07-19-2006 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you Robert and OV-105.

Pierre-Yves

farthestreaches
Member

Posts: 891
From: Redondo Beach, Ca
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 07-21-2006 07:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for farthestreaches   Click Here to Email farthestreaches     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass for the landing and had an awesome seat for Discovery as it touched down. Later that day, got to see it being towed into it's "hanger". Was a thrill to be sure. I wouldn't have imagined that a landing could be as exciting as this turned out to be. I have a few photos I'd be willing to share if anyone is interested. Nothing as good as the NASA photographers were able to shoot but still, not bad. Have one that shows chute trailing, though missed the nose as it was moving so fast as it rolled by.

------------------
Steve Hankow
http://www.farthestreaches.com

contra
Member

Posts: 299
From: Kiel, Germany
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 07-22-2006 02:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for contra   Click Here to Email contra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would love to see your photo´s Steve.
thanks for asking!!!

stefankontradowitz@web.de

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