STS-114 Mission Journal  

STS-114 Mission Journal - Part 7

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Infrared image of Discovery at Edwards Air Force Base. NASA TV image captured by NewsFromSpace.
SHUTTLE UPDATE:
DISCOVERY LANDS!
NASA image of the STS-114 mission patch.
LEFT: Infrared image of Discovery at Edwards Air Force Base.
RIGHT: STS-114 Mission Patch.

 
  • 09 August - Afternoon Update - Welcome home to the crew of Discovery! Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot Jim "Vegas" Kelly guided the orbiter to a smooth landing through the California darkness. NASA reports:

    Discovery Lands in California
    Discovery rests on the runway as dawn arrives over Edwards Air Force Base in California. NASA PHOTO NO: STS114-S-049Space Shuttle Discovery touched down this morning at Edwards Air Force Base in California to successfully conclude NASA's Return to Flight Mission. STS-114 was the first Shuttle mission to fly since the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and the STS-107 crew on Feb. 1, 2003.
    Discovery spent two weeks in space, where the crew demonstrated new methods to inspect and repair the Shuttle in orbit. The crew also delivered supplies, outfitted and performed maintenance on the International Space Station. A number of these tasks were conducted during three spacewalks.
    NASA's Crew Transport Vehicle, or CTV, pulls up to the Space Shuttle Discovery to offload the crew after a successful landing. NASA PHOTO NO: STS114-S-047In an unprecedented event, spacewalkers were called upon to remove protruding gap fillers from the heat shield on Discovery's underbelly. In other spacewalk activities, astronauts installed an external platform onto the Stationís Quest Airlock and replaced one of the orbital outpostís Control Moment Gyroscopes.
    Inside the Station, the STS-114 crew conducted joint operations with the Expedition 11 crew. They unloaded fresh supplies from the Shuttle and the Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module. Before Discovery undocked, the crews filled [the MPLM] with unneeded items and returned [it to the] Shuttle payload bay.

    Discovery launched on July 26 and spent almost 14 days on orbit. The landing at Edwards was the 50th of the Shuttle program, and the first since Endeavour finished mission STS-111 there in June 2002. It will cost nearly $1 million and 2 weeks' processing time to ferry Discovery back to Florida, probably eliminating any chance of Atlantis launching on STS-121 in September.

    Discovery is being towed to its hangar. Post landing crew briefing at 3:10PM EDT.

  • 09 August - 8:15 - WHEEL STOP! DISCOVERY IS HOME! NASA reports:

    Discovery Touches Down!
    Discovery touches down at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Image credit: NASASpace Shuttle Discovery glided to a gentle touchdown at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot Jim Kelly guided the ship as it made its 17,000 mph descent from space into the morning darkness. The landing concludes a historic 14-day, Return to Flight mission to the International Space Station.
    Pulled back to Earth by gravity alone, a silhouetted Discovery approached the desert runway at a steep nose-down dive. Approximately one mile before reaching the strip's threshold, the spacecraft flared to a shallow nose-up, tail-down position for landing. Following touchdown, Discovery rolled for 1.5 miles before coasting to a slow stop at the end of the runway.

    Keep an eye on NASA TV for post-landing news conferences, and watch the play-by-play links at top right for commentary.

    More updates later today. WHOOHOO!

  • 09 August - 8AM - Discovery is 1400 miles from the landing site, entering the atmosphere now. NASA reports:

    Discovery Begins Descent to California
    Telemetry showing Discovery's maneuvers. NASA TV image captured by NewsFromSpace.Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew are headed home. Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot Jim Kelly performed the engine burn to de-orbit at 7:06 a.m. EDT to begin the descent to Edwards Air Force Base in California. Discovery is scheduled to touch down at 8:12 a.m. EDT.
    Telemetry showing Discovery's maneuvers. NASA TV image captured by NewsFromSpace.Rain showers prevented the orbiter from landing during today's first and second opportunities at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
    Discovery is returning to Earth after a 9-day stay at the International Space Station. STS-114 is the first Shuttle mission to fly since the loss of Columbia and the STS-107 crew during re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003.

    Discovery is passing through the point of maximum atmospheric heating. People on the ground in southern California will hear sonic booms about 5 minutes before landing.

  • 09 August 2005 - DEORBIT BURN - Mission Control has given the order for Discovery to drop out of orbit. NASA reports:

    Discovery's Deorbit Burn Underway
    Telemetry showing Discovery's maneuvers. NASA TV image captured by NewsFromSpace.NASA's Mission Control in Houston has given the crew of Discovery the "go" to begin the deorbit burn and land at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. During the burn, a backward-flying Discovery fires its engines to slow the ship. The loss of energy causes the vehicle to fall below the speed needed to orbit and starts the descent. Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot Jim Kelly then swing Discovery around to face forward for reentry into the atmosphere. At an altitude of approximately 400,000 feet, the orbiter's computers initiate a series of S-turns to control its speed. When Discovery reaches roughly 40,000 feet, Collins takes control of the craft to fly it in for a landing. Nearly an hour after the deorbit burn, the spacecraft touches down in California.
    Rain showers prevented the orbiter from landing during today's first and second opportunities at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    Fox News has live coverage with astronauts Tom Jones and Buzz Aldrin.

  • 09 August 2005 - 6:30AM EDT - Waiting for the order for retrofireNASA reports:

    Shuttle Discovery Update
    The infrared camera tracks NASA's Gulfstream jet, scouting weather conditions over Edwards AFB. NASA TV image captured by NewsFromSpace.Dryden will not be open to the public if the Shuttle lands at Edwards AFB because of bad weather in Florida. Due to the size of the base and the time of day, there are no recommended locations off base to view the landing.
    Weather and Selecting Landing Sites
    This full view of the International Space Station orbiting over a colorful Earth was photographed by a crewmember onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery following the undocking of the two spacecraft. NASA PHOTO NO: S114-E-7219Fair weather is always necessary to launch or land a Space Shuttle. During the final moments of a launch countdown, a last minute break in the weather may be all that's needed for a Space Shuttle to liftoff. But for landing, the atmospheric conditions have to be predictable over a longer period of time. That's because the crew has to pick their landing site 90 minutes prior to landing. An orbiter's descent to the runway takes more than an hour alone and the weather has to remain stable and calm for a safe touchdown.
  • 09 August - 5:30AM EDT - Another wave-off! Discovery is heading to Edwards AFB in California! NASA reports:

    Florida Landing Opportunities Scrubbed
    Slide showing Discovery's west coast ground track. NASA TV image captured by NewsFromSpace.Space Shuttle Discovery will not land at Kennedy Space Center today. Rain showers off the coast make an East Coast landing hazardous for the orbiter. Focus now turns to three landing opportunities in the western United States, two at Edwards Air Force Base in California and one at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.
    Mission controllers and the crew of Discovery are planning to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California, instead of their primary site at [KSC]. Weather conditions around the Florida coast continue to be unstable with thunderstorms and lightning, forcing a landing in the California desert.
    The next landing opportunity is at 8:12 a.m. EDT at Edwards. If that option is chosen, the crew will perform a three-minute engine burn at 7:06 that will deorbit Discovery and put it on track to land in California.

    Stay tuned...

  • 09 August - Tuesday, 4:30AM EDT - One way or another, today is Landing Day, but not this go-around. As of 3:03AM EDT, Discovery's first Tuesday landing opportunity has been waved off. pushing today's touchdown time from 5:07AM EDT to 6:43AM, and increasing the total orbits from 217 to 218. The elapsed time for the 5.7-million-mile trip will have been 13 days, 20 hours and 3 minutesNASA reports:

    Discovery Waved Off for First Landing Opportunity
    Mission Control in Houston has elected to wave off Discovery's first landing opportunity on Tuesday. The two gentlemen at center are (L-R) CAPCOM Ken Ham and Flight Director Leroy Cain. NASA TV image captured by NewsFromSpace.Mission controllers have elected to wave off today's first attempt at landing in Florida, while looking toward the second opportunity coming later this morning at 6:43 a.m. EDT. At present, the concern is off-shore showers in Florida. Weather forecasters continue to monitor the situation. Weather at Edwards Air Force Base in California looks good, with clear skies and light winds. The first landing opportunity there will come at 8:12 a.m. EDT.
    The second Florida opportunity is one orbit later. It would require a three-minute deorbit burn at 5:37 a.m. EDT, with touchdown occurring at 6:43.
    There are several more landing opportunities for today, including two at Edwards Air Force Base in California and two at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.

    Check the play-by-play links at top right, and watch live on NASA TV.



STS-114 Links...


Play-By-Play:

Spaceflight Now!

Florida Today

NASA (new!)

Space.com

CBS News

MSNBC


Signature Edition DVD Set
Mission Reference:

Shuttle Press Kit

CNN Mission Guide

NASA Preflight Briefing

NASA Return To Flight Reference

NASA Flash Presentation

CSA

JAXA

Meet The Crew

BBC Shuttle In Depth

See below for ISS links

NASA STS-114 Media:

Kennedy
Space Center

Return To Flight

Johnson
Space Center

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KSC Liftoff Status

Spaceflight Now!

Florida Today

Houston Chronicle

MSNBC

NPR

WKMG-TV

RedNova

More Space Coverage:

Orlando Sentinel

GlobalSecurity.org

WESH-TV

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Shuttle Headlines:

NASA Watch

Google News

Yahoo! News

Discovery Channel

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ISS Reference:

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