Mon, Jul 17, 2006
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 07.17.06 0915 EDT: These guys make it look
so easy... as moments ago, the shuttle Discovery came in for a
picture-perfect landing on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center in
Next up for the shuttle program: the late September launch of
the shuttle Atlantis... and, Discovery should return to the skies,
as well, before the end of this year.
To everyone at NASA... way to go!
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 07.17.06 0815 EDT: Discovery has just
fired its main engines to slow its orbit around Earth, and is on
track for a 9:14 am EDT landing at the Kennedy Space Center in
The engine firing followed the closing of Discovery’s
payload bay doors at 5:35 am.
Discovery is expected to touchdown at KSC in about an hour from
now. Flight controllers authorized Discovery to fire its engines
for the deorbit burn at the first opportunity, as skies within 30
miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility remain free of rain.
Some high cloudcover is evident in video feeds from NASA, but it
is not expected to pose a problem. NASA reports few clouds at
11,000 feet, with a slight quartering tailwind for landing on
NASA also reports that despite problems with two of Discovery's
three auxiliary power units over the past few days, all three APUs
are functioning normally for reentry.
Over their 13-day mission that started July 4, Discovery and its
six astronauts visited the International Space Station. They
delivered supplies, equipment and a new Expedition 13 crew member
to the orbital outpost. During three spacewalks, the crew performed
maintenance on the station’s mobile transporter and tested
orbiter heat shield repair techniques.
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