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Old 08-09-2005, 07:40 AM  
C-Mac C-Mac is offline
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Shuttle lands safely

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida (CNN) -- The space shuttle Discovery touched down Tuesday morning, completing NASA's first shuttle mission since Columbia broke apart during re-entry in February 2003.

The shuttled landed at 5:11 a.m. PT at NASA's secondary landing site at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

As commander Eileen Collins brought the orbiter to a stop on runway 22, NASA spokesman James Hartsfield stated, "Discovery is home."

"Congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight," mission control radioed the crew. "Welcome home friends."

"We're happy to be back, and we congratulate the whole team for a job well done," Collins said.

It was the 50th shuttle landing at Edwards.

Earlier Tuesday NASA waved off its two opportunities for Discovery to land at its primary site at Kennedy Space Center because of stormy weather off the Florida coast.

Weather conditions at Edwards included clear skies and light winds, "excellent conditions for a space shuttle landing," NASA said.

"How do you feel about a beautiful clear night with a breeze down the runway in the high desert of California?" mission control radioed Collins.

"We are ready for whatever we need to do," Collins said.

Discovery's path to Edwards began with the spacecraft firing its engines over the Indian Ocean to slow it enough to re-enter Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific.

Shuttle pilot James Kelly steered Discovery on a trajectory leading it near Los Angeles and Oxnard, California, before touch down.

NASA officials vowed to land the orbiter Tuesday at one of three locations after weather conditions forced them to scrub the shuttle's scheduled return a day earlier. The Kennedy Space Center in Florida was NASA's first choice. Edwards their second and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico their third.

Officials would have preferred to land at Kennedy Space Center to avoid the cost and inconvenience of flying the shuttle back to its launch site from the alternative landing strips.

Mission STS-114 largely was designed to improve safety on future shuttle journeys, although the program has been suspended while NASA investigates its failure to solve the problem of foam falling from the shuttle's external liquid fuel tank during launch.

Video from the July 26 launch showed debris falling from the fuel tank, but NASA said it did not appear to have struck the orbiter.

Once in space, Discovery's crew used cameras to scrutinize the craft's exterior for possible damage that might pose a threat during re-entry.

The shuttle spent most of the mission docked to the international space station, delivering much-needed supplies and performing maintenance on the outpost.

Astronaut Steve Robinson performed an unprecedented shuttle repair mission by plucking two pieces of filler material protruding between tiles on Discovery's underside. NASA wanted them removed to ensure they wouldn't overheat, damaging Discovery's belly during re-entry.
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:40 AM   #2
C-Mac C-Mac is offline
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Wonder if this is the last?
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:41 AM   #3
KCTitus KCTitus is offline
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Now NASA is going to spend about eleventy billion hauling that scrap metal across the country. *sigh*
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCTitus
Now NASA is going to spend about eleventy billion hauling that scrap metal across the country. *sigh*

This morning on Headline News they said it cost 5 million to ship it back to Florida.
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:31 AM   #5
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Welcome home to the courageous astronauts. I bet their sphincters got a workout this morning.
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Old 08-09-2005, 08:56 AM   #6
ptlyon ptlyon is offline
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Old 08-09-2005, 10:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by C-Mac
Wonder if this is the last?
They are certainly getting aged. I've heard that they might consider buying the Russian un-used shuttles. Any truth to that?
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:25 PM   #8
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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At about 5am this morning, there was a huge BOOM-BOOM outside our master bedroom window. My wife was convinced that someone was trying to break in (even though we live in a 4 story gated house on a hillside in which a burglar would have to walk up 30 stairs just to get to the first floor) and had me all freaked out. Our alarm was set, the dog didn't bark, but I had to get up and check out the premises. My adrenaline was pumping and I didn't get back to sleep for another hour or so.

Well as it turns out, it was the double sonic boom of the space shuttle landing in California! This happened once before in 1995, but at 5am, I'd forgotten the same thing happened 10 years ago.

Dane
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:27 PM   #9
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud
At about 5am this morning, there was a huge BOOM-BOOM outside our master bedroom window. My wife was convinced that someone was trying to break in (even though we live in a 4 story gated house on a hillside in which a burglar would have to walk up 30 stairs just to get to the first floor) and had me all freaked out. Our alarm was set, the dog didn't bark, but I had to get up and check out the premises. My adrenaline was pumping and I didn't get back to sleep for another hour or so.

Well as it turns out, it was the double sonic boom of the space shuttle landing in California! This happened once before in 1995, but at 5am, I'd forgotten the same thing happened 10 years ago.

Dane

I was up but the marine layer was too thick to see anything. Sure enough...like you said...the sonic BOOM-Boom was loud as hades. I was wondering how far inland it carried.
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Old 08-09-2005, 12:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud
At about 5am this morning, there was a huge BOOM-BOOM outside our master bedroom window. My wife was convinced that someone was trying to break in (even though we live in a 4 story gated house on a hillside in which a burglar would have to walk up 30 stairs just to get to the first floor) and had me all freaked out. Our alarm was set, the dog didn't bark, but I had to get up and check out the premises. My adrenaline was pumping and I didn't get back to sleep for another hour or so.

Well as it turns out, it was the double sonic boom of the space shuttle landing in California! This happened once before in 1995, but at 5am, I'd forgotten the same thing happened 10 years ago.

Dane
Yep, I bolted out of bed. I thought it was an earth quake. Then this morning I realized it was the shuttle. It woke my wife as well and she sleeps with ear plugs.
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:38 PM   #12
Ari Chi3fs Ari Chi3fs is offline
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nothing like driving around a state of the art 1982 Shuttle.

you figure with technology at its all time pinnacle... we would have a better mode of space travel created.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:05 PM   #13
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ali Chi3fs
nothing like driving around a state of the art 1982 Shuttle.

you figure with technology at its all time pinnacle... we would have a better mode of space travel created.
Its kind of like that fixer upper first car that your Dad "gave" to you. Once you got it running, and it was cool, then you had it painted, and that was cool.

Now the thing is old and completely outdated, unreliable, and in two accidents, but you just can't get rid of the thing.

The shuttle program needs to be scrubbed.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:11 PM   #15
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