Space Shuttle Discovery Lands at Edwards AFB
Bad weather over Florida forced the Space Shuttle Discovery to wave off from its primary landing site and land at Edwards air Force Base in California at the conclusion of mission STS-128. Rain showers and thunderstorms were too close to the landing runway at the Kennedy Space Center. Deteriorating weather forecst for Saturday in California prompted mission planners to direct the shuttle crew to land on Friday. The Orbital Maneuvering System engines were fired at 4:47 PM PDT to begin the descent to landing.
The arrival of Discovery was announced by two loud, sharp sonic booms that echoed from the surrounding desert. The orbiter left a short contrail as it descended toward the cloud deck.
Discovery made a sweeping turn that took it over Highway 58 on the north side of the base.
Discovery lined up with Runway 22 with its landing gear still retracted.
Fire trucks stand by along the runway as the shuttle glides past.
Discovery scrubs smoke from its tires as it touches down on Runway 22 at 5:53 PM.
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The drag chute is deployed after the nose wheel contacts the runway.
The drag chute unfurls to its full diameter as the orbiter slows to a halt. Note the tight clustering of the engine nozzles.
NASA's Grumman Gulfstream 2 N945NA Shuttle Training Aircraft passes over the runway shortly after Discovery's landing. The pilot of the STA had evaluted the weather conditions at the landing site before Discovery's arrival.
Technicians check for the presence of fumes from the orbiter's systems before the service vehicles approach Discovery. The engine nozzles have been moved to a position that allows any rain to drain out.
The boarding stairs approach the entrance hatch on the side of the orbiter.
Service vehicles stand by immediately after the landing.
US Navy Sikorsky SH-60F Seahawk BuNo 163286 of VX-31 based at NAWS China Lake orbits overhead, monitoring the sitation around the orbiter on the runway.
US Army Bell UH-1H Huey 74-22459 also orbited the area. It serves as a threat simulator during exercises at Fort Irwin.
SH-60F Seahawk BuNo 163286 orbits on the far side of Discovery.
A passenger transporter approaches Discovery to offload the asronauts.
UH-1H Huey 74-22459 orbits at a lower altitude than the Seahawk.
The service vehicles approach Discovery and connections are made to pump cool, inert gas into the orbiter.
More pictures from Space Shuttle events.
Edwards AFB displays.
You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
A dozen photos of 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Events depicted include:
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747-SCA N905NA/Enterprise Approach and Landing Test 1 take-off on August 12, 1977.
747-SCA N905NA/Enterprise Approach and Landing Test 4 take-off on October 12, 1977.
747-SCA N905NA/Columbia delivery take-off on March 20, 1979.
747-SCA N905NA/Challenger static and departure take-off on July 4, 1982.
747-SCA N911NA/Endeavor delivery take-off from Palmdale on May 2, 1991.
747-SCA N905NA/Columbia landing at Palmdale on September 25, 1999.
747-SCA N905NA/Discovery take-off on November 2, 2000.
747-SCA N905NA/Atlantis take-off on July 1, 2007.
747-SCA N911NA/Endeavor take-off on December 10, 2008.
747-SCA N911NA/Discovery take-off on September 20, 2009.
747-SCA N905NA/Endeavor flyover at LAX, September 21, 2012.
You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of Space Shuttle Endeavour at Edwards Air Force Base.
Bad weather caused the Space shuttle Endeavour to divert to Edwards Air Force Base at the conclusion of STS-126 on November 30, 2007. Following servicing in the Mate/Demate Device, it departed from Edwards on the back of 747 Carrier Aircraft N911NA on December 10.
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You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of Space Shuttle Discovery at Edwards Air Force Base.
A dozen photographs of the Space Shuttle Discovery at Edwards Air Force Base. Bad weather at the Kennedy Space Center caused the Space shuttle Discovery to divert to Edwards Air Force Base at the conclusion of mission STS-128 on September 11, 2009. Following servicing in the Mate/Demate Device, it departed from Edwards on the back of 747 Carrier Aircraft N911NA on September 20.
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You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Flights.
A dozen photos of Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Flights. Boeing 747-Shuttle Carrier Aircraft N905NA and Space Shuttle Endeavour arrived at Edwards Air Force Base from Biggs Army Airfield on September 20, 2012. The pair were placed on static display at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center that afternoon. The 747/Shuttle stack departed from Edwards Air Force Base on the morning of September 21. It toured California and several landmarks in the LA Basin. It made two low passes over Los Angeles International Airport before making its final landing. The 747-SCA was flown to Edwards Air Force Base on September 24 where it was retired. The Endeavour ison display at the California Science Center.
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