Shuttle Discovery Glides Home After Successful Mission

Jun 14, 2008
Shuttle Discovery Glides Home After Successful Mission
Space shuttle Discovery lands at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Photo credit: NASA TV

With Commander Mark Kelly and Pilot Ken Ham at the controls, space shuttle Discovery descended to a smooth landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The STS-124 crew concluded their successful assembly mission to the International Space Station when the shuttle landed at 11:15 a.m. EDT.

Space shuttle Discovery and its crew landed at 11:15 a.m. EDT Saturday, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., completing a 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles in space.

The STS-124 mission was the second of three flights to launch components to the International Space Station to complete the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. Discovery delivered Kibo's tour bus-sized Japanese Pressurized Module, or JPM, which is the station's largest module.

The mission included three spacewalks to install and outfit the JPM and activate its robotic arm system. The lab's logistics module, which was delivered and installed in a temporary location in March, was attached to its permanent position on top of the JPM.

Mark Kelly commanded the flight and was joined by Pilot Ken Ham, Mission Specialists Karen Nyberg, Ron Garan, Mike Fossum, Greg Chamitoff, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. Chamitoff remained aboard the space station, replacing Expedition 17 Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman, who returned to Earth on Discovery after nearly three months on the station. Chamitoff will return on shuttle Endeavour's STS-126 mission, targeted for launch November 10.

STS-124 was the 123rd space shuttle flight, the 35th flight for shuttle Discovery and the 26th flight of a shuttle to the station.

With Discovery and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the launch of STS-125 on October 8. Atlantis' mission will return the space shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope for one last visit before the shuttle fleet retires in 2010. Over 12 days and five spacewalks, Atlantis' crew will make repairs and upgrades to the telescope, preparing it for at least another five years of research.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Google exec makes record skydive from edge of space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Retired shuttle paired with space lab (Update)

Oct 10, 2014

The space shuttle Endeavour has been paired once again with a space lab and storage pod it used on some missions, as the countdown to its final exhibit continues at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The case for a mission to Mars' moon Phobos

Oct 02, 2014

Ask any space enthusiast, and almost anyone will say humankind's ultimate destination is Mars. But NASA is currently gearing up to go to an asteroid. While the space agency says its Asteroid Initiative will ...

Famous Feynman lectures put online with free access

Sep 02, 2014

(Phys.org) —Back in the early sixties, physicist Richard Feynman gave a series of lectures on physics to first year students at Caltech—those lectures were subsequently put into print and made into text ...

Recommended for you

Hinode satellite captures X-ray footage of solar eclipse

13 hours ago

The moon passed between the Earth and the sun on Thursday, Oct. 23. While avid stargazers in North America looked up to watch the spectacle, the best vantage point was several hundred miles above the North ...

Asteroid 2014 SC324 zips by Earth Friday afternoon

23 hours ago

What a roller coaster week it's been. If partial eclipses and giant sunspots aren't your thing, how about a close flyby of an Earth-approaching asteroid?  2014 SC324 was discovered on September 30 this ...

User comments : 0