Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shuttle lands in Florida after delivery of solar panels

CAPE CANAVERAL — The shuttle Discovery glided to a hazy Florida landing on Saturday, leaving the International Space Station behind in orbit with a complete set of solar arrays and a repaired water recycling system.

Running one orbit late because of high winds and low clouds, the shuttle commander, Air Force Col. Lee Archambault, and the pilot, Navy Cmdr. Dominic Antonelli, guided Discovery to a smooth touchdown at 3:13 p.m., ending a 13-day mission with three space walks.

"Welcome home, Discovery, after a great mission to bring the International Space Station to full power," astronaut George Zamka radioed from mission control in Houston.

Sandra Magnus, the space station flight engineer, returned to Earth on Discovery, riding on her back in a recumbent seat on the shuttle's lower deck to ease her transition to gravity after four months in space.

Magnus was replaced by Koichi Wakata, a Japanese astronaut who rode to the lab complex aboard Discovery.

And the number of people aboard the space station grew on Saturday as two other new crew members and a wealthy space tourist arrived. The three — the Expedition 19 commander, Col. Gennady Padalka of the Russian air force; a NASA flight engineer, Dr. Michael Barratt; and a software developer, Charles Simonyi — were on a Russian Soyuz rocket that docked at the space station at 9:05 a.m.

Discovery's seven-member crew cleared the way for the station's expansion by installing a fourth and final set of solar arrays that doubled the power available for scientific research. NASA is moving ahead with plans to launch the shuttle Atlantis to service the Hubble Space Telescope on May 12.

Shuttle lands in Florida after delivery of solar panels 03/28/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 28, 2009 8:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut

    Blogs

    There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

    Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. FEMA to open disaster recovery center in Riverview

    Hurricanes

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will open a disaster recovery center Thursday in Riverview for Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

  3. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  4. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]