Discovery Home at Kennedy Space Center

Aug 21, 2005
Discovery Home at KSC

The Space Shuttle orbiter Discovery successfully landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Discovery, riding piggy-back on the modified Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), made a sweep of the Brevard County beaches as it circled for a landing, giving residents a birds-eye view of the duo.

Image: Space Shuttle Discovery still joined to the SCA, on the tarmac at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Image credit: NASA/KSC

Cheers from media and Kennedy Space Center employees erupted when the 747's wheels touched down. Landing on Runway 15, the vehicle came to a stop where it was then towed to the Mate/Demate Device (MDD) at the SLF. During the next few hours Discovery will be lifted off the 747. The vehicle will be backed-out and the orbiter will be gently lowered to the runway on its landing gear.

On Monday, the Discovery will be towed by a diesel-powered tractor to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) via a two-mile tow-way strip from the SLF. Once inside the OPF the payload bay doors will be opened and the materials brought back from the International Space Station will be unloaded. After Discovery is inside the processing facility, Mission STS-114 will then be completed.

Space Shuttle Discovery is slated for Mission STS-121 in March, 2006.

NASA announced that the next Space Shuttle mission, STS-121, is now targeted for March 2006. This will be the second test flight to the International Space Station in the Shuttle Return to Flight series. NASA Administrator Mike Griffin and Associate Administrator for Space Operations William Gerstenmaeir made the announcement at a briefing on August 18th.

"We are giving ourselves what we hope is plenty of time to evaluate where we are," said Administrator Griffin. "We don't see the tasks remaining before us being as difficult as the path behind us."

A pair of "Tiger Teams" continues to investigate the External Tank foam loss during Discovery's launch on July 26. Gerstenmaier says the teams have identified the major areas of concern and are making good progress on dealing with the problems.

Discovery will be used for STS-121 instead of Atlantis, putting NASA in a better position for future missions to the Space Station. Atlantis will fly the following mission, STS-115, carrying Space Station truss segments which are too heavy to be carried by Discovery. By changing the lineup, the program won't have to fly back to back missions with Atlantis, as was previously scheduled.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Space-raised flies show weakened immunity to fungus

Jan 24, 2014

Venturing into space might be a bold adventure, but it may not be good for your immune system. Now a study by researchers at the University of California, Davis and published Jan. 24 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Recommended for you

SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

6 hours ago

The SpaceX company returned to orbit Friday, launching fresh supplies to the International Space Station after more than a month's delay and setting the stage for urgent spacewalking repairs.

Quest for extraterrestrial life not over, experts say

7 hours ago

The discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the "habitable" zone of a distant star, though exciting, is still a long way from pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial life, experts said Friday. ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

7 hours ago

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

9 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

9 hours ago

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

11 hours ago

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...