Remarks: Space Shuttle Discovery travels through a parking lot near the Vehicle Assembly Building. Discovery has completed all transition & retirement work and will spend the next month in the VAB before being flown to the Dulles for display at the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy Center.
Remarks: Space Shuttle Atlantis (left) and Discovery greet each other for the final time. Space shuttle Atlantis was being moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the Orbiter Processing Facility to continue transition and retirement (T&R) activities. Discovery has completed all T&R work and will spend the next month in the VAB before being flown to the Dulles for display at the Smithsonian's Udvar Hazy Center.
Remarks: Space Shuttle 'Discovery" returns to Earth after wrapping up her 39th and final mission, a milestone marking the beginning of the end for NASA's winged space ships.
Commander Steven Lindsey took over manual control and guided the 204,000-pound Discovery through a speed reducing 250-degree left turn to line up on runway 15. The very loud twin sonic booms heralded the end of Discovery's long and distinguished space flight career.
Remarks: The view from the commander's seat on the Space Shuttle 'Discovery" showing off her "glass" cockpit. NASA pioneered the "glass cockpit" concept on their 737 flying lab prior to its' adoption by Boeing aircraft. Starting in 2000, the orbiters began receiving the new look.
Technically called the Multifunction Electronic Display Subsystem (MEDS), it has increased capabilities, decreased weight and power consumption, and replaced obsolete equipment on the flight deck of the Shuttle.
MEDS incorporates or replicates the functions of cockpit displays that include: General Purpose Computer display screens,Electromechanical flight instruments and tapes,Attitude Directional Indicator; Horizontal Situation Indicator; Airspeed Mach Indicator; Altimeter Vertical Velocity Indicator; Surface Position Indicator,Electromechanical subsystem status tapes and meters for – Orbital Maneuvering System, Main Propulsion System, Auxiliary Power Units, and Hydraulic Systems.
Remarks: Space shuttle "Discovery" has just come to wheels stop after the STS-120 mission to the ISS and while the astros are still onboard throwing the cockpit switches to the off positions, the Self-Contained Atmospheric Protection Ensemble (SCAPE) vehicle has brought the safety team to clear the orbiter.A SCAPE-dressed crew moves to the rear of the orbiter using a high range flammability vapor detector to obtain vapor level readings and to test for possible explosive hazards and toxic gases. Two readings from three different locations are made to determine concentrations of hydrogen, monomethyl hydrazine, and hydrazine and ammonia. If they find that high levels of gases are present, and if wind conditions are calm, the Vapor Dispersal Unit -- the mobile wind machine -- moves into place and blows away the potentially dangerous gases.
Remarks: A solemn funeral procession. A perfectly good and functional spacecraft on the way to get her guts ripped out and powered down prior to "mummification" at the Smithsonian. "This is a pretty bittersweet moment for all of us. As the minutes pass, I'm getting sadder and sadder about this being the last flight. And I know all the folks involved in the shuttle program feel the same way."- Cmdr. Lindsey
Remarks: Space Shuttle Discovery on final approach for Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility for the final time. After landing she was towed back to the Orbiter Processing Facility where she will be prepped for museum exhibit.
Remarks: Space Shuttle Discovery launches into orbit for the final time of her historic career on a 11 day mission to the International Space Station. Discovery is carrying a permanent multipurpose module which will add some much needed storage space to the ISS.
Remarks: Space Shuttle Discovery heads towards launch complex 39-A for what was to be the final time. Multiple delays and repairs caused for a rollback to the VAB where she emerged once again during late January 2011. Discovery will launch on her final 38th and final mission to the International Space Station in late February 2011.
Remarks: "Discovery" is wheeled out of its hanger on the special truck with many wheels. She has been in the Orbital Processing Facility #3 since her last flight. The orbiter undergoes safing procedures in the OPF which include removing residual fuels and explosive ordnance items. Then the orbiter's previous mission payloads are removed and the vehicle is fully inspected, tested, and refurbished for its next mission.