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Mon, Aug 22, 2005

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jog

Discovery Returns To KSC

The Space Shuttle orbiter Discovery successfully landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) at Kennedy Space Center, FL, Sunday. Discovery, riding piggy-back on the modified Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), made a sweep of the Brevard County beaches as it circled for a landing, giving residents a birds-eye view of the duo.

Cheers from media and Kennedy Space Center employees erupted when the 747's wheels touched down. Landing on Runway 15, the vehicle came to a stop where it was then towed to the Mate/Demate Device (MDD) at the SLF. During the next few hours Discovery will be lifted off the 747. The vehicle will be backed-out and the orbiter will be gently lowered to the runway on its landing gear.

On Monday, the Discovery will be towed by a diesel-powered tractor to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) via a two-mile tow-way strip from the SLF. Once inside the OPF the payload bay doors will be opened and the materials brought back from the International Space Station will be unloaded. After Discovery is inside the processing facility, Mission STS-114 will then be completed.

Space Shuttle Discovery is slated for Mission STS-121 in March, 2006.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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