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  STS-124: Discovery carries Hope for a new era (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   STS-124: Discovery carries Hope for a new era
Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 09:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At 400,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, Discovery has reached "entry interface," encountering the first traces of Earth's atmosphere.

The orbiter is traveling 25 times the speed of sound as it continues on its landing path. On Discovery's middeck, astronaut Garrett Reisman is beginning to feel the first tug of gravity after being in space for 95 days.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 09:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Discovery has entered the first of four pre-programmed steep banks that help eliminate excess energy as it continues its descent toward the Kennedy Space Center.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nine minutes before touchdown, Discovery is 200 miles from the Kennedy Space Center.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One hundred eleven (111) miles from Kennedy Space Center, Discovery has been spotted by long range tracking cameras.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Five minutes until touchdown, Discovery is approaching the Heading Alignment Cylinder (HAC), an imaginary cylinder created by the Microwave Scan Beam Landing System (MSBLS) that is installed at the primary shuttle landing sites.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 10:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boom Boom! Double sonic booms heard as Discovery slips below the speed of sound.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Houston, Discovery, runway is now in sight," reports commander Mark Kelly.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Touchdown!

"Houston, Discovery, wheels stop," reported STS-124 commander Mark Kelly, as the orbiter rolled to a halt at 10:16:19 a.m. CDT.

"Roger wheels stop Discovery," responded capcom Terry Virts. "Beautiful landing Mark, and congratulations on a great mission."

"Great to be back and it was great for all of us to be part of a big team that made the station a little bit bigger and a little more capable," said Kelly.

Space shuttle Discovery returned to Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, two weeks after launching the STS-124 crew to deliver the largest lab, the Kibo Japanese pressurized module, for the International Space Station.

Commander Mark Kelly brought the orbiter to a 10:15:19 a.m. CDT (1515 GMT) touchdown, ending the 26th U.S. flight to the ISS and the 35th mission for Discovery. This was the 69th shuttle landing at the Kennedy Space Center, and the fifth Florida landing in a row.

In addition to bringing the second of three components of JAXA's Kibo ("Hope") laboratory, Discovery also delivered a new Expedition 17 crew member -- flight engineer Greg Chamitoff -- to the station. Chamitoff took the place of Garrett Reisman, who returned to Earth as a member of the STS-124 crew.

Among the other astronauts on-board Discovery was Karen Nyberg, the 50th woman in space. Her landing today comes just two days shy of the 45th anniversary of the first female in space, Valentina Tereshkova aboard Vostok 6, and four days before the 25th anniversary of the first American woman in space, Sally Ride on STS-7.

STS-124 completed 217 orbits of the Earth in 13 days, 18 hours, 14 minutes and 7 seconds, traveling a total of 5,737,643 miles.

Mr Meek
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posted 06-14-2008 10:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a beautiful landing. I only wish I had been there to see it.

Having played the Shuttle landing simulator at the USSRC a few hundred times growing up, I was impressed by CDR Kelly and PLT Ham's ability to keep the Shuttle bug right in the circle on the HUD.

robsouth
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posted 06-14-2008 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful landing....welcome home Discovery

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-14-2008 12:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

The STS-124 crew, including returning ISS flight engineer Garrett Reisman (upper right), exited the crew transport vehicle to be greeted by NASA and JAXA officials. Commander Mark Kelly (upper left) then led his crew on the customary walk-around of their spacecraft, Discovery (without Reisman, who returned to the transport van).

Before leaving for crew quarters, Kelly made a few brief comments for NASA TV.

It is great to be here on the runway in sunny Florida and it is great to bring Discovery back in great shape. The vehicle is in really good shape, which we always like to see it that way. It is a great day here.

We had a really exciting mission that from our point of view was very successful and we're really glad to be involved in the space station, a bigger and more capable place. We installed a Japanese laboratory that pretty soon here we are going to start to do a lot more science on space station with, did three spacewalks and exchanged the crew of the space station.

It was really an exciting mission. We're glad to be back here in Florida. Thank you!

A press conference with the crew is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. CDT following the post landing press briefing at 12:30 p.m.

Safecoat
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posted 06-15-2008 12:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Safecoat   Click Here to Email Safecoat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's always a welcome sight when the orbiter lands safely! All our best to the crew of Discovery and their successful mission!

robsouth
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posted 06-15-2008 06:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-124 was a fantastic mission, one of the best things about it, IMO, was the wealth of footage available for viewing.

If you haven't watched the SRB footage then do so, some of it is fantastic, the views and the sounds are out of this world. Seeing the Shuttle fly off on the ET from the view point of the SRB was awesome.

Also the footage of the crews inside the new orbital laboratory is fantastic too. Seeing all those people doing acrobatics is great.

The footage of the camera floating off into space during the EVA is also fascinating to watch.

Just image what can be captured on film when we return to the moon.

hlbjr
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posted 06-15-2008 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Speaking of great footage, I've noticed there doesn't appear to be a clip of the crew compartment during ascent. Usually it is part of the mission video clips available. Did I miss seeing it? Is this something the crew can elect to have released or not or is is just happenstance it isn't in the "library"?

Harvey Brown
Delray Beach, FL

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-15-2008 08:37 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 hlbjr:
Did I miss seeing it?
There is a clip in NASA's Flight Day 2 video archive, or you can watch the whole broadcast via space-multimedia.

Philip
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posted 06-15-2008 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Still another 2 missions before retirement of "Discovery"?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-15-2008 09:20 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 Philip:
Still another 2 missions before retirement of "Discovery"?
Discovery (OV-103) is slated as of now to fly STS-119 with the S6 truss, STS-129 with the express logistics carriers, and should it be funded, STS-132, the fourth ULF mission.


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