Discovery Lands at Kennedy Space Center

Space Shuttle Discovery lands at the shuttle landing facility, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA
The long wait, cold weather, and even a 24-hour delay has ended when the Space Shuttle Discovery and seven astronauts aboard glided for a picture-perfect  landing in a Tuesday morning at Kennedy Space Center.

“What a great mission. We enjoyed it… We’re glad that the International Space Station is stocked up,”commander Alan Poindexter said.

The Discovery returned from a 15-day mission that included 7-tons of equipment along with it to the International Space Center.

The crew has been set to land on Monday but rain and very cloudy skies hindered them from doing so. Their homecoming was almost spoiled driving them to abort the landing attempt.But then when the clouds broke on a Tuesday morning, Discovery had the chance begin an hour long plunge that dropped its speed from 17,500 mph to 225 mph at touchdown on KSC’s runway 33.

The shuttle left across the America on its trip back to the Cape. It entered the continent near Vancouver, then flew over southeast across northeast Washington, Montana, central Wyoming, northeast Colorado, southwest Kansas and Oklahoma. It passed north of Little Rock, Ark.; over Oxford, Miss; near Montgomery, Ala.; south of Columbus, Ga. and, finally, over Florida east of Gainesville.

The crew,which marked the first time four women have been space in one time included pilot Jim Dutton and mission specialists Rick Mastracchio, Clay Anderson, Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki.

There are only three remaining shuttle flights before the space shuttle fleet’s retirement.

Space Shuttle Launch at the Kennedy Space Center

Space shuttle Discovery was launched early today, Monday, April 6, 2010 at 6:21 am at the Kennedy Space Center aboard its six-member astronaut crew headed by U.S. Navy Captain Alan Poindexter.

Dubbed as the “STS-131” mission, the astronauts will be on a 13-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) to perform three spacewalks to deliver the multi-purpose logistics module containing science racks for use in the various labs throughout the space station.

According to NASA, the astronauts will also collect a Japanese science experiment thereby including mission specialist Naoko Yamakazi of the Japanese Space Agency in the space mission. In addition, they will also switch out a gyro assembly on part of the station’s truss structure.

“If you take a look at the spacewalks and the time of this mission, it’s an extremely packed mission,” says William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Space Operations of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

A lot of critics have expressed their disappointment to the Obama Administration for cancellation of the Constellation Program of NASA. The programs aims to develop a new rocket and space capsule to lift astronauts into orbit which would have seen astronauts return to the moon again by the year 2020.