Space Shuttle Discovery Lands Safe – Video Space News
The Space Shuttle Discovery and its crew are home after a 13-day, five
million-mile journey in space. The mission, STS-121, succeeded in
testing shuttle safety improvements, repairing a rail car on the
International Space Station and producing never-before-seen,
high-resolution images of the shuttle during and after its July 4th
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This space video news item includes voice over.
Discovery's Commander Steve Lindsey, Pilot Mark Kelly and mission
specialists Mike Fossum, Piers Sellers, Lisa Nowak and Stephanie
Wilson landed Monday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 9:14
a.m. EDT, July 17, 2006.
Following landing, Lindsey and his crew did the traditional walk
around, post-landing inspection of the shuttle. "I have been on four
flights, and this is the cleanest vehicle I've ever seen," said
Lindsey. "We had two major objectives and we accomplished both of
those, and we're ready to assemble the space station."
NASA's Space Shuttle Program managers also were pleased with
Discovery's performance. The flight verified the safety of the
biggest aerodynamic change to the external fuel tank in shuttle
history. The protuberance air load ramps were removed after a piece
of foam came off this area during Discovery's flight last year.
STS-121 is the most photographed shuttle mission ever, with more than
100 high definition, digital, video and film cameras documenting the
launch and climb to orbit. Data from these images helped assess
whether the orbiter sustained any damage and whether that damage
posed any risk to Discovery's return to Earth.
The STS-121 mission also bolstered the International Space Station.
Fossum and Sellers, with the help of crewmates, completed three
spacewalks. The third spacewalk was confirmed after mission managers
determined there was enough electrical power to add another day to
The astronauts tested the shuttle's 50-foot robotic arm boom extension
as a work platform. They removed and replaced a cable that provides
power, command and data and video connections to the station's mobile
transporter rail car. The transporter is used to move a platform
containing the station's robotic arm along the truss of the complex.
During the third spacewalk, the astronauts tested techniques for
inspecting and repairing the reinforced carbon-carbon segments that
protect the shuttle's nose cone and leading edge of the wings.
Discovery delivered more than 28,000 pounds of equipment and supplies
to the station, as well as a third crew member. European Space Agency
astronaut Thomas Reiter joined Russian Pavel Vinogradov and American
Jeff Williams. This marks the first time since May 2003 that the
station crew has three members.
President George W. Bush called the astronauts to congratulate them on
a successful mission and to thank them for their work to further
America's Vision for Space Exploration. The vision calls for NASA to
return humans to the moon, and then venture to Mars and beyond.
Texas Governor Rick Perry also made a call during the mission to
fellow Texas A&M University graduate Fossum.
With Discovery and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the
resumption of International Space Station assembly. Preparations
continue for Space Shuttle Atlantis' launch targeted for late
August/early September for the STS-115 mission to deliver additional
truss segments to the station. Atlantis is expected to be moved to
the launch pad early next month, and NASA managers plan to meet
shortly thereafter to clear the shuttle for its first mission since
Be sure to check out our live feed of NASA Television.
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