Space Shuttle Discovery makes Safe Landing!!!!!!!!!!

Whale Rider

Unity is Our Strength
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Discovery lands safely at Edwards Airforce Base CA. Congratulations to Commander Collins and her crew on a job well done!:D


Space shuttle Discovery lands safely in California
Tue Aug 9, 2005 8:52 AM ET

By Nichola Groom

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Aug 9 (Reuters) - The space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts returned to Earth safely on Tuesday, bringing a successful end to NASA's troubled return to human space flight 2 1/2 years after the Columbia disaster.

Discovery was traveling at 17,000 mph (27,000 kph) when it made its fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and swooped over the Pacific Ocean before gliding to a smooth predawn landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a 14-day mission that may have been the last shuttle flight for some time.

NASA diverted the shuttle to California after bypassing four chances to land at Discovery's home port, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where clouds and rain showers proved troublesome.

"Congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight," astronaut Ken Ham at Mission Control in Houston told the Discovery crew as the shuttle stopped on the runway.

"Welcome home friends."

NASA accomplished its main goal for the mission -- safely launching and landing the aging shuttle. But when chunks of insulation flew off Discovery's fuel tank during launch, the U.S. space agency learned it had failed to fix the problem that doomed Columbia on Feb. 1, 2003.

Columbia disintegrated over Texas, killing all seven astronauts on board. Investigators blamed the disaster on a large piece of insulating foam that broke off the tank during launch and punched a hole in the orbiter's wing, allowing superheated gases to enter as the ship returned to Earth.

SONIC BOOMS OVER CALIFORNIA

Radio communications between the shuttle commander and mission control fell largely silent as the shuttle nosedived toward the Mojave Desert landing strip. Double sonic booms sounded over southern California as the shuttle dipped below the speed of sound for the first time since its launch two weeks ago.
 
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