At 1611PDT, the OV DISCOVERY has been given a "GO" for the deorbit burn for a landing at KEDW. Edwards Air Force Base was chosen over KTTS (Kennedy Shuttle Landing Facility) due to nasty weather conditions in gator land.
Deorbit burn: 1647PDT Landing KEDW: 1753PDT
After landing, the DISCOVERY will be towed to the Mate-Demate Device and will be mounted on top of a Boeing 747 for a ferry flight back to KSC.
The OV DISCOVERY landed safely earlier this evening at KEDW. She used Runway 22. Following the landing, she'll be towed to the Mate-Demate Device for placement atop a Boeing 747 for the ferry flight back to KSC. NASA announced that this process will take about a week. Takeoff should be announced shortly before. Meanwhile, the crew will return to Houston via Ellington on Saturday.
There are lots of angles we like to see during landings. This one is my favorite. The PPOV (Pilot's Point Of View). Here is the presentation courtesy of YouTube member "littlepyro".
Enjoy the Edwards landing!
The left side indicator shows speed in knots. The right side indicator shows altitude in feet above ground level, which differs from indicators on regular aircraft as their indicator shows the altitude above sea level. The basic field elevation at KEDW is 2310 feet above sea level.
NASA has begun the ferry flight this morning to KSC with the Boeing 747-200 departing Edwards with the DISCOVERY on her top. Departure time was at 0622PDT and Runway 22 was chosen. After takeoff, the stack turned left to join the planned flight route. The 747-shuttle combo is scheduled to make a refueling stop at Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas, and one other intermediate stop before reaching Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, La., Sunday evening. NASA then plans to continue on from Barksdale to Kennedy Monday morning, weather permitting.
Here's the stack as the crew pulled back the yokes and rotated the 742 off the runway. A nice morning at Edwards.
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Here are some photos from NASA on the turn-around operation. The ground photos were taken by Tony Landis and the air photo by Carla Thomas.
DISCOVERY in the Mate-Demate Device being readied for the ferry flight to KSC.
Tail cone is being installed to reduce drag during the flight.
N911NA is now being towed into position. N911NA has more upper deck windows than her N905NA sister.
The DISCOVERY is now mated to her means of cross country transportation. Precision takes center stage in this process.
Going back to the first flight in the STS Program, we see some people showing off some light-hearted moments. The envelope is in relation to the COLUMBIA's return flight from KEDW to KSC. At that time, N905NA still had her American Airlines livery before NASA gave her the current livery.
The DISCOVERY is back in the land of alligators. She, atop N911NA, landed at 0906PDT on the runway at the Shuttle Landing Facility. Duration of flight from Barksdale was 2.5 hours.
Here are landing photos provided by NASA, some cropped by myself for presentation on this thread:
The pilots fight a cross wind from east to west as they aim for Runway 33 at KTTS.
Main gear touchdown. The crew has to steer the rudder and nose wheel (after NWTD) quickly to straighten the roll up the runway.
They can now apply the spoilers and reverse the engine to slow the stack down. They used most of the runway for the landing.
After doing a 180 degree turn, the stack taxis south. They would stop short of the turn-off to the Mate-Demate platform (and the long tow-way to the Orbiter Processing Facility). N911NA would shut down and a tug would carefully tow the stack off the runway to the M-D Device.
Here, we see the tug pull the stack to the Mate-Demate Device at KSC.
The stack is now in the Mate-Demate Device within greener landscapes. The device is virtually identical to the one at Edwards.
After the DISCOVERY is demated off N911NA, she'll be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility for preparation for her next flight. The 747-200 will then fly back to Edwards for future contingencies. The orbiter's tail cone will be disassembled and be shipped back to Edwards.
They have been given a "GO" for the deorbit burn. Here is the landing track to KSC. Runway direction chosen is 15, or about 150 degrees on the heading, meaning they'll be landing from the north onto the runway.
Seattle is getting the full fuselage trainer. We have the advantage of all the others as the trainer will be open for us to crawl into and explore while the hatches of the shuttles are reportedly will be shut and locked and will be for outside viewing only.
We are about to witness an historic event in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow, weather permitting: The final landing of a space shuttle in that program. The OV ATLANTIS is doing this landing after resupplying Space Station ALPHA.
WED JULY 20 2309PDT PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSE
THU JULY 21 0149PDT DEORBIT BURN
THU JULY 21 0256PDT KSC LANDING
A second opportunity has the ATLANTIS doing this about ninety minutes later, should that be done.
Mr. Rob Navias is doing the commentary for this final landing.
The OV ATLANTIS is back on the ground after her program-ending flight and landing. The landing was performed on the first try.
The folks aboard ISS ALPHA did see the ATLANTIS's fiery reentry.
Approaching Runway 15, Kennedy Space Center.
From the end of the runway.
After the entry flight director signed off allowing KSC to have full control of the ATLANTIS, and dismissing the entry team of their duties, other staff members jam the shuttle control room for a celebration.
More of the celebration.
With the shuttle crew nearing ready to do their walkaround of the ATLANTIS, Mr. Rob Navias concludes Johnson Space Center's coverage of the mission.
One final look inside the shuttle control room.
ATLANTIS on the runway.
The crew transport vehicle moves away from the ATLANTIS. This is similar to what you see at airports.
The crew leaves this vehicle to do their walkaround.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden welcomes the crew back at KSC.
One last crew photo.
The crew boards Airstream's Astrovan for the ride back to the crew quarters. They will fly back to Houston Friday.
The Astrovan leaves the runway.
And, finally, the ATLANTIS is being prepared to be towed to the orbiter processing facility to be readied as a "museum object" for public display at KSC's Visitor Center.
NASA has announced the events leading up to the final departure of the Space Shuttle DISCOVERY from KSC to her new new home at the Smithsonian. Here are excerpts of the release:
NASA ANNOUNCES EVENTS FOR SHUTTLE DISCOVERY DEPARTURE
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Events are set for space shuttle Discovery's departure. A NASA Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), a modified 747 jet, will transport Discovery to Washington Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Va., on Tuesday, April 17.
All times are EDT:
Tuesday, April 10 5:30 p.m. SCA arrival at Shuttle Landing Facility
Saturday, April 14 5 a.m.-6 p.m. Discovery rollout from Vehicle Assembly Building's high bay 4 to Shuttle Landing Facility mate/demate device
SCA/Discovery mating operations through 7 p.m.
Monday, April 16 7:30 a.m. SCA/Discovery backout of mate/demate device
7:30-10:45 a.m. Press interviews with STS-133 crew members
Tuesday, April 17 Discovery departs at first light (approximately 7 a.m. EDT, 0400 PDT)
6:45 a.m. NASA TV live coverage of shuttle Discovery's departure
7-9 a.m. Press interviews with STS-133 crew members at Shuttle Landing Facility midpoint
Yesterday was a big day for our Museum of Flight here in Seattle. The arrival of the first of three major components of the Space Shuttle Full Fuselage Trainer.
This was used as a mode of training by all astronauts who would take flight aboard the real shuttles.
The first major component delivered was the crew module and the aircraft used was the SUPER GUPPY, a huge moving van that actually can fly!
Here's the arrival pattern.
The GUPPY flew over Point Defiance, Bainbridge Island, over KBFI, over Seattle, Kirkland, Everett, KPAE, Edmonds, and landed on Runway 13R at KBFI.
The GUPPY does a low flyover with a NASA chase plane.
GUPPY on her way out for a grand tour of our area.
Runway 13R cleared to land.
Taxi to parking.
The GUPPY was greeted by a super crowd.
The GUPPY on the blocks.
The GUPPY is opening up to reveal her cargo.
Looking more like a big "whale" turning its head.
Revealing a piece of history of space travel training.
This tunner aircraft loader is about to do the reverse.
The tunner rises.
Welcome to Seattle!
On its way to its new home.
Out on active airport traffic for a short distance.
With the Concorde.
The trainer's new home.
While we wait for more action on the Space Shuttle Trainer, let's take a closer look at the GUPPY.
The foredeck with the flight deck.
A classic four prop-per.
This is quite a flying moving van!
This "whale" is looking at you!
A "whale" with a "tail".
Back to Space Shuttle Trainer, the crew module is raised from its shipping cradle.
The crate leaves and the module is lowered. And, THE BRITISH ARE ARRIVING!
This NASA SUPER GUPPY plane will be kept busy for a while. The plane will return twice to KEFD for the payload bay sections. That means two more appearances of this space component transporter here in Seattle.
Just over 24 hours until the most exciting touchdown on Mars so far.
I doubt I'll be able to find any watchable streaming coverage of Curiosity's landing, but I'll be glued to my computer, and hoping for a successful soft landing.
10:31, Pacific time, tomorrow.
Go to www.nasa.gov and link yourself to NASA TV's live streaming Internet video. There are three channels: PUBLIC MAIN CHANNEL, MEDIA CHANNEL, EDUCATION CHANNEL (where you can find out what the "tree house detectives" are up to in solving various cases of scientific problems on the NASA WHY FILES and NASA SCI FILES).
Well, that was truly amazing. You didn't have to know any of the people in the blue shirts to share their elation at a long planned mission that went- so far- absolutely according to plan.
To hear of the velocity of entry that, within a few minutes, landed within a few metres of where they wanted, sixty million miles from Earth, was really something. And pictures, just a few seconds after.
Now we await the data, and the insight into whether the red planet could have at some time in its past harbored conditions that might have produced life.
The only thing that gets me, is why can they only afford to include two-mexapixel B/W cameras on-board? They're already spending millions on the project, why not bump it up a few pennies more and toss on a D7000?
This seems bizarre to me... that a country as poverty stricken as India can find money for a Mars mission. But I suppose critics of space exploration make the same case regarding the U.S. and its priorities.
So, you've got India, China, Russia, the ESA and NASA, and probably others working on their own, all with different agendas for space, and in some cases, probably overlapping their research. It's long past time that all space-capable bodies got together, pooled resources, and perhaps accomplished some goals that they most likely can't separately.