Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Space Shuttle arrives home safely
Whew! The Space shuttle Discovery landed successfully at Edwards Air Force Base in California at approx. 7:11am Central Time, completing the first successful mission since Columbia broke apart over Texas two and a half years ago. I was listening to coverage on NPR on the way in to work this morning, and I didn't realize how many things have to be done once the shuttle lands before the astronauts can get out. It takes somewhere on the order of 45 minutes to complete everything before the hatch is opened and the astronauts exit the shuttle.
I'm sure this successful landing is a relief for NASA officials, but it appears they still have some work to do. Even on this launch, there were chunks of foam insulation that fell off the external fuel tank. That has got to be disheartening for the folks that have been working on that for the last 2 years, but I'm hopeful that they will come up with a solution so that they can again resume launches.