Shuttle Discovery heads toward its final landing

Mar 08, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
In a frame grab made from NASA TV, space shuttle Discovery backs away from the the International Space Station after undocking for the last time Monday, March 7, 2011. Discovery is due back on Earth on Wednesday. It's being retired after touchdown and sent to the Smithsonian Institution for display. (AP Photo/NASA)

Space shuttle Discovery is on track for a Wednesday landing - its very last one.

Commander Steven Lindsey and his crew will test the shuttle's systems Tuesday morning. Then the six will hold a ceremony to mark Discovery's final flight.

Discovery, the world's most flown spaceship, departed from the on Monday. It will wrap up its 13-day mission with a Florida touchdown, weather permitting.

Discovery now faces life as a museum display. It's the first of NASA's three space shuttles to be retired. managers contend the fleet still has lots of flying lifetime left. But the agency is under presidential direction to aim for true outer space, which means giving up the shuttles, which are confined to orbit.

Explore further: Best evidence yet for coronal heating theory detected by NASA sounding rocket

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Discovery Set To Land Wednesday

Nov 06, 2007

The space shuttle Discovery crew is scheduled to complete a 15-day mission to the International Space Station with a landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

NASA postpones Discovery launch to mid-December

Nov 24, 2010

NASA on Wednesday postponed until mid-December the launch of the space shuttle Discovery on its last trip to the International Space Station after cracks were found in its external fuel tank.

Crew in Florida, Launch Set for Tuesday

Oct 19, 2007

The Shuttle Training Aircraft carrying the STS-120 astronauts touched down at 1:18 p.m. EDT on the Shuttle Landing Facility runway at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Recommended for you

Rosetta measures comet's temperature

9 hours ago

(Phys.org) —ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, finding that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.

How Rosetta arrives at a comet

11 hours ago

After travelling nearly 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System, ESA's Rosetta is closing in on its target. But how does a spacecraft actually arrive at a comet?

Lunar occultation of Saturn

12 hours ago

On the night of Monday August 4, mainland Australia will see Saturn disappear behind the moon. It's the third time this year that the moon and Saturn will perfectly line up, as viewed from our part of the ...

User comments : 0