Wednesday, August 10, 2005
The Shuttle Discovery finally hit the ground...gracefully and safely...at Edwards AFB in California.
(Click title to read full story)
After threatening weather scotched 4 landing opportunities at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the craft was diverted to Edwards, one of two alternate landing sites (the other being in New Mexico, which also had rain).
Edwards is the least favored landing site due to the costs in money, time and hardware, since the Shuttle must be "ferried" back to Florida on the back of a 747. But the decision was an easy one for this flight.
NASAs "Return to Flight" was already marred by a renewed grounding of the fleet after foam insulation fell from the main fuel tank on launch, an event which tragically ended the lives of the Columbia crew, and which was something NASA (apparently erroneously) felt had been prevented. There was to be no chances taken on this flight, however.
Despite the foam, despite the "gap-filler", besides the "thermal blanket", this mission was covered to the nth degree, and the result was a flawless performance by craft, crew and controllers.
NASA should be rightly proud of the accomplishment, and now attention must turn to revamping the space program, converting the shuttle hardware to the new configuration, and getting some good use out of Atlantis (after the grounding is lifted).
Job well done, NASA...OUTSTANDING!
[via every news source on the planet...and NASA]
I really don't see how Ed continues to attract attention. He's championed more "non-events" than Nancy Lieder.
And that's saying a mouthful. :)
Thanks for writing!